A small, deciduous tree with smooth, purplish young stems. Leaves three-lobed, or five-lobed with the basal pair of lobes very small; blades 31⁄2 to 51⁄2 in. long and about as wide, lobes triangular, prolonged at the apex into tail-like points which are often strikingly long and slender, sharply toothed, often doubly so, the midrib and main nerves of the under-surface covered at first with whitish or yellowish hairs but becoming glabrous except for hairs in the axils of the nerves near the base; leaf-stalks 13⁄4 to 4 in. long, covered with white down at first, later glabrous or remaining hairy near the apex. Male flowers in corymbs. Fruits in simple lax racemes 4 to 7 in. long, borne on pedicels 3⁄5 to 11⁄5 in. long; wings of fruit diverging at an acute angle, 11⁄8 to 13⁄4 in long with the nutlet, 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. wide.
Native of the W. Himalaya from Kashmir to Kumaon; date of introduction uncertain. For the reasons explained in the note, this species has been much confused with A. papilio (A. caudatum sensu Rehder) but is distinguished from that species by the soon glabrous leaves, the corymbose male inflorescence, and by the fruits being borne in long, lax racemes on pedicels much longer than in A. papilio; the fruits are also larger, with less spreading wings.
Acer acuminatum is represented in the maple collection at Kew by a specimen 18 ft high, raised from seeds received under the name “A. pentapomicum”.