Kindly sponsored by
Dan Crowley (2020)
Crowley, D. (2020), 'Acer 'Serpentine'' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
This taxon has been attributed to Acer davidii, though appears to be of hybrid origin, with A. davidii one of its parents. A small tree. Bark strongly striated, branchlets purple. Leaves narrrow, to 10 cm long (Edwards & Marshall (eds) 2019). Distributed in cultivation only.
RHS Hardiness Rating H5
Previously considered to be a selection of Acer davidii, the foliage of ‘Serpentine’ suggests a hybrid origin and this cultivar is best not attributed to that species. Indeed, with leaves somewhere between A. davidii and A. crataegifolium, a hybrid origin was suggested as a possibility by van Gelderen & van Gelderen (1999), though dismissed on account of the latter not being in the vicinity of where the original plant arose as a chance seedling, on a nursery in Boskoop, the Netherlands. Seedlings apparently also come true to form (van Gelderen et al. 1994), though given the promiscuity of members of Section Macrantha, this is certainly not a given. van Gelderen et al. (1994) suggest that it could be a northerly form of A. davidii, though its seedling origin renders any such speculation academic.
Introduced to cultivation by W. J. Hooftman in 1976 (van Gelderen & van Gelderen 1999), it is described as a densely branched plant, though becomes leggy in shade. It is noted for its fine bark (Armitage et al. 2014), which is purplish-green and prominently striated. It has an upright form and its leaves turn orange or yellow in autumn. Its fruits, ripening red, are small and often abundantly set.