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Acer triflorum Komar.

Modern name

Acer triflorum Kom.

A deciduous tree 20 to 45 ft high in a wild state; young shoots slender, freely covered with minute warts, soon without down. Leaves trifoliolate; leaflets ovate to oval or oblong-lanceolate, entire or with a few very large teeth, tapered towards both ends, the side ones scarcely stalked; 112 to 312 in. long, 12 to 114 in. wide; upper surface, midrib and main veins beneath, as well as the leaf-stalk (which is 1 to 212 in. long), all more or less covered with pale hairs, especially when young. Flowers in clusters of threes terminating short, usually two-leaved shoots. Wings of the fruit 1 to 114 in. long, 38 to 58 in. wide, spreading at an angle of about 120°; nutlets thick, 14 to 38 in. long, covered with pale hairs; fruit-stalk hairy, about 58 in. long.

Native of Manchuria and Korea; introduced in 1923. It is nearly related to A. nikoense, especially in its hairy nutlets, but that species has much larger leaflets and the wings of the fruit diverge at a much smaller angle. It is rare in cultivation and grows slowly, needing, perhaps, greater summer heat than our climate can offer. There is a good example in the Chandlers Ford nursery which, Mr Hillier tells us, ‘gives consistently excellent autumn colour, being one of the best trees for this purpose in the nursery’; another, growing on chalk at Winchester, collapsed and died in the summer of 1966. There are two small trees in the Mitchell Drive at Westonbirt whose leaves die off brilliant crimson and another by Down Gate 35 ft high. The young shoots recall A. griseum but the mature bark is ash-brown, loose, and vertically fissured.



Other species in the genus