Appreciation: A survey of Sycamores (A. pseudplatanus), June 1st

Discussion in 'Maples' started by emery, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Last week I went around and photographed our Sycamores (A. pseudoplatanus cultivars). It was a sunny day, and I realized that we tend to concentrate on these either earlier in spring, for the pink cultivars, or later in summer for the variegated cultivars with purple leaf undersides (cultivars of var. purpureum).

    Given the nice day this seemed a fun opportunity to look at the intermediate stage. I haven't had a good chance to make the post until now, though.

    The major cultivars missing from the collection are 'Worley' and 'Prinz Handjery'. There are some other minor cultivars I'd like to get hold of, like 'Patchwork' (never available in EU AFAIK) or 'Tricolor', and then some curiosities (e.g. 'Opizii') that I've been on the lookout for years, but never heard rumor of.

    Starting with the variegated cultivars.

    'Simon Louis Frères' (the first 3 are from the 29th where the light was better to show the pink shades). This cultivar leafs out very late compared to the others, so the end of the first period is just happening now.

    IMG_20210529_153056_v1.jpg IMG_20210529_153108_v1.jpg IMG_20210529_153141_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_140853_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_140918_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_140937_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141005_v1.jpg

    The well known 'Esk Sunset' has not yet developed the purple leaf undersides here. It is badly infected with a fungus that is attacking the leaf undersides, so will look poor later in the season for sure.

    IMG_20210531_140507_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_140535_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_140543_v1.jpg

    'Brigada Revolution' was selected by Jean-Pierre Hennebelle. It is similar to 'Prince Camille de Rohan' but much smaller, and has a brighter aspect later in the season. The leaf undersides are purple.

    IMG_20210531_141546_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141626_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141647_v1.jpg

    'Souffrettes' was the first maple I bothered to name, but I haven't tried to commercialize it. None the less it is a good sycamore, very bright and well variegated and doesn't burn. The leaf undersides are green.

    IMG_20210531_141704_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141732_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141742_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141802_v1.jpg

    One of my most enjoyed maples is 'Prince Camille de Rohan', but it has gotten big enough that it is difficult to photograph the leaves. It has a dark, almost tan aspect, and later in the summer the dark purple undersides give it a unique brooding feeling. A fast grower, not really suitable for smaller gardens.

    IMG_20210531_142054_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_142149_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_142226_v1.jpg

    I'll continue with the variegated sycamores, and the pinks and yellows, in the next post (after dinner!)

    -E
     
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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @emery fantastic thread E. They all look wonderful and especially with a blue sky and sunshine.
     
  3. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    More variegated pseudoplatanus cultivars that we enjoy here at Les Souffrettes. They do pretty well here, there tree is "native" (which means it's been growing for centuries, although officially it is not native to Western France) and the very acidic soil flatters the colors, though it also slows the growth.

    'Sunburst' is a unique sycamore that was selected about 8 years ago. Unlike most of the variegated sycamores we grow, it was found growing in the garden. The other wild one we have is 'Gillian's Spring Pink', but most are selected from seed beds. 'Sunburst' is a unique cut of bright yellow and green, which starts out completely green and the yellow gradually develops, slowly forming a very bright contrasting leaf. By June as you see it is fully developed. It will be commercialized within a few years, several propagators have expressed interest.

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    'Orange Parfait' is another named selection. It leafs out very bright orange, then the variegation develops, until it ends up white and green. Although an attractive maple I don't know if it will eventually be propagated. This year it froze, and the leaves that came out after were very small.

    IMG_20210531_143123_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_143137_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_143209_v1.jpg

    'Leopoldii' is unfortunately named in tribute to the mass murdering King of Belgium, Leopold II. In spite of this etiquette it is a lovely maple with yellow/green and white variegation, which has faded to green and white at this time. It normally forms a large upright tree, but our specimen was damaged and has remained bushy. At one time it was quite popular and widely planted; there are several of them I know of in Paris. Seed of 'Leopoldii' are often variegated, but it has not yet flowered here.

    IMG_20210531_143326_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_143342_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_143406_v1.jpg

    I will continue the survey soon with the solid cultivars. -E
     
  4. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    That 'Sunburst' is very nice, and well named
     
  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Moving on to the pinks, yellows and greens. Many of these are now past the period that gives them the most garden interest, for example the bright pinks of spring, but still have a lot of impact.

    'Puget Pink' started off as a cultivar, but soon became a seedling strain as west coast nursery people started growing seedlings and selling them under the name. ('Prinz Handjery' also has this problem). This was sold as the real cultivar, and who knows? It might be. Regardless it is a small, attractive bushy sycamore, a nice pink in spring which fades to this mat green/white/purple color. The leaf undersides, as one might expect from the shape, become purple and the season advances.

    IMG_20210531_135315_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_135325_v1.jpg

    'Leat's Cottage' is a pink cultivar with green undersides. It resembles 'Brilliantissimum' but is a lighter pink shaded with cream. By this time the pink has mostly faded except for new growth, though this was hard to photograph as it is in shade and the day was so bright. It is a slow growing, but upright form.

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    'Brilliantissimum', the best known of the pink cultivars, was introduced in 1905 in the UK. At this season it isn't very pink anymore, but looks almost white in the sun and makes a great presence.

    IMG_20210531_141119_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141136_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141205_v1.jpg

    Another introduction from the French nursery of Jean-Pierre Hennebelle (who also introduced some marvelous birches, many of which can be admired at the Vasterival), 'Miracle Rose' is superficially similar to 'Puget Pink' but very much more pink/red in spring. Later in spring the leaves go an interesting deep cream color. It is very slow growing.

    IMG_20210531_141252_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141307_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141327_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141344_v1.jpg

    This A. pseudoplatanus v. purpureum was wild collected near Nantes, where it is common, and a beautiful sight blowing in the wind near the sea. It is very salt tolerant. By now it has already made dark green leaves with deep purple undersides (you can just about see the underside in the second picture). I wish it would hurry up and grow, but for now it seems very slow. Various varieties of seedlings of this tree are raised by nurseries and sold as 'Spaethii', though they do not have the characteristics of the original of that name (Schwerin, 1893). Rather they are a mixed lot, some better than others, and almost never as good as ones found in the wild. The original 'Spaethii' has probably disappeared, or is at least impossible to find.

    IMG_20210531_141418_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_141454_v1.jpg

    A wonderful bright yellow, the old cultivar 'Corstorphinense' (Sutherland, 1883), doesn't burn in full sun, though it does green out as the season progresses. From Corstorphine, now in the outskirts of Edinburgh, it is commonly called the Haunted Maple. At the base of the tree, Lord Forrester was killed with his own sword by his sister-in-law, in 1679, and later hauntings by his ghost were reported. The original tree has fallen, but we have not been visited, at least when anyone was there to see.

    IMG_20210531_142646_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_142708_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_142731_v1.jpg

    Ending this tour of our collection is another named here, for our daughter: 'Gillian's Spring Pink'. It is very red/pink in spring, a much darker color than 'Brilliantissimum'. It was found in a bed of thousands of seedlings that I let grow in a corner of the lawn one year; this was the only one retained. It froze this year but is coming back nicely, and makes an attractive plant growing in full sun. It fades to a whitish green but retains the maculation throughout the year.

    IMG_20210531_142804_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_142820_v1.jpg IMG_20210531_142836_v1.jpg

    Well that's all for the sycamore survey, I hope you enjoyed and perhaps find it instructive. I love this versatile maple which is under-represented in many medium and small gardens. Cheers, -E
     
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  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    You are really outdoing yourself E. I'm loving all of these postings.
     
  7. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Glad you enjoyed! I must say it was a real pleasure to spend an hour in the sun pottering around taking the pictures.
     
  8. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I can see you enjoyed yourself, very evident in the photos you took.

    D
     
  9. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Allô - hère is a view of a neighbourhood tree near the ocean in rural outskirts of Vancouver BC today at 11:30am Pacific Time zone

    Thé keeper of the tree calls it « Eskimo Sunset »

    I fully realize that name could start a few conversations

    In any event - here you see the obvious maple. It lives in a large container - feet in shade and leaves in sun for part of the day

    An Aspen tree has the round green leaves on left hand side of pic

    And a very large burgundy maple in background

    And further back are extremely tall native red cedar and native Douglas Fir probably 150 feet tall (the native black bear climbs one of them)

    Foreground is a lovely scented honeysuckle on fence mixed in with a clematis armandii (it bloomed in April, also scented)

    A rugosa rose, also scented

    And Hydrangea « blushing bride »

    There are some hostas and sword ferns (native fern) in there too.
     

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  10. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Georgia, that looks like a nice 'Esk Sunset'. And is certainly a nice garden!

    It may not be the fault of the owner for calling it that, many nurseries have sold it under 'Eskimo Sunset', which has been an easy name for Americans and others to remember. (I remember in my NY youth eating "Eskimo Pies", and ice cream product; I wonder if they still call it that?) However the correct name for this most popular of sycamores is 'Esk Sunset' as it is from the Esk Valley in NZ. Cheers, -E
     
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  11. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    I seem to recall contributor on this forum fr Wa State - RonB - clarifying this name maybe in 2019 - or more likely 2020.

    Thank you for reminding and clarifying.

    This link is fr Oregon State Univ in Corvallis OR USA - a renowned « ag » school is the Willamette Valley - also well known for growing turf grass seed and lots of nursery plants.
    Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset' | Landscape Plants | Oregon State University
     
  12. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    It's unfortunate that they include the illegitimate name "Eskimo Sunset", which IMO only promotes its use.

    I'm sure that Ron has pointed out the correct usage many times, as have I. If you want further references, I can provide a tediously large number.
     
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  13. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    I am with you in this
    I finally have integrated into my cranial Rolodex

    ———-
    And BTW - the frozen treat you remember - Edys Pie

    Wiki also says there used to be Eskimo Bricks (mais en français) in France a long time ago

    Edy's Pie - Wikipedia
     

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