Acer 'Serpentine'

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Credits

Dan Crowley (2020)

Recommended citation
Crowley, D. (2020), 'Acer 'Serpentine'' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/acer/acer-serpentine/). Accessed 2020-11-23.

Genus

Other species in genus

Glossary

section
(sect.) Subdivision of a genus.
hybrid
Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).
striated
Bearing fine longitudinal stripes grooves or ridges.

References

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Credits

Dan Crowley (2020)

Recommended citation
Crowley, D. (2020), 'Acer 'Serpentine'' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/acer/acer-serpentine/). Accessed 2020-11-23.

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.