Acer × elegantulum 'Johnnie's Giant'

Discussion in 'Maple Photo Gallery' started by Worldly_Wrangler, Jul 21, 2022.

  1. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Active Member

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    AKA Acer elegantulum x palmatum ‘Johnnie's Giant’. I’m told that Acer elegantulum is a common species in Europe, however it is fairly uncommon in the US.

    I planted this in April 2022 where it was hit with a late frost. It lost all of its initial foliage and pushed out more. It is just now starting to put on some height and grow some larger leaves. The leaves are shiny and have ragged edges. It is in full sun and has not withered during the recent heat wave.

    It has beautiful red new growth that I will try to capture if it sprouts sone more. The insects seem to leave it alone, unlike my Oliverianum hybrids.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Always a worry when they get hit by a late Spring frost, but your elegantulum has recovered very well indeed. Not seen this one in the UK, so I'm not aware it's made its way over the pond yet.
    A lovely new addition to the species forum.
     
  3. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    A. elegantulum is quite robust when it comes to coming back from spring freezes. It's a good thing, because it leafs out quite early compared to the palmatum group. It can suffer stem damage though. Since this one has (presumably) palmatum parentage, maybe it will be a little hardier.

    The very red new growth is typical of elegantulum. It varies from deep chocolate to crimson, depending on the plant.

    I don't think you could say elegantulum is common in the EU, since it was only introduced into the West in 1986 at Westonbirt, but seed is now readily available and germinates well. In China the species is widely used as understock for JM cultivars.

    This looks like an interesting plant, looking forward to seeing how it develops.

    Botanically speaking, I believe the correct name would be Acer x elegantulum 'Johnnie's Giant'.
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I will change the thread title, hope @Worldly_Wrangler notes the change.
     
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  5. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Active Member

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    Thanks for the title change. It’s a lovely tree so far. I’m hoping for a mild winter so I can see how giant ‘Johnnie’s Giant’ can grow!
     
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  6. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    New growth after the rain. This one is the "plain species", from seed. The first spring flush is even more "colourful" since it can be seen on all branches :

    acer-eleg02_220722a.jpg
     
  7. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    This is a hybrid cross:
    Acer elegantulum × A. palmatum 'Johnnie's Giant'

    This maple was introduced by Harold Johnson and named after his wife Johnnie. He also named Acer palmatum 'Johnnie's pink' after his wife and also his nursery Johnnie's Pleasure Plants in Tallassee, Alabama. Because of this trees roots in Southern Alabama its supposed to handle the Summer heat well.


    (IMO the new way of listing - Acer x elegantulum is a huge disservice to the general public and future generations. The new way is too vague while the old way offers transparency and a better understanding of the actual genetic cross)
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
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  8. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Active Member

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    The naming issue is my fault. I originally started this thread as Acer elegantulum × 'Johnnie's Giant'. This led to a correction to Acer x elegantulum 'Johnnie's Giant'.

    I had meant to include palmatum after the x but somehow forgot to.
     
  9. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    No it's not directed at anyone here on the forum.

    The old way would have been:
    Acer elegantulum x palmatum 'Johnnie's Giant'.

    So you know right away it's a hybrid cross and the two parent species. What happens is this information is lost over time. One example of this is Acer palmatum 'trompenburg'. Trompenburg is actually a palmatum and shirasawanum cross. This information unfortunately gets lost over time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2022
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  10. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for the info on the origin, John, great to have.

    As I understand it, both species names can be used if it is certain what both parents are. I would assume that isn't the case here if it was natural pollination. Looking at the leaf originally, I thought a more likely candidate for the other parent was A. amoenum (var. matsumurae).

    I agree that the new naming conventions (e.g. Acer 'Trompenburg', Convexum Group) lose information, but they do prevent some confusion in the buying public, who might see A. shirasawanum 'Trompenburg' and A. palmatum 'Trompenburg' at different nurseries, and think they are different plants. Though anyone who argued that they now have yet another option to be confused by, wouldn't be wrong, lol.

    -E
     
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  11. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    I think it all adds to the confusion. Acer ‘Johnnie's Giant’ is even worse because there's over 160 species, so you have to take a guess. Who is coming up with this? Is it a maple society thing?

    JC Raulston Arboretum has it listed as a palmatum cross:
    JC Raulston Arboretum - Our Plants - Acer elegantulum × A. palmatum 'Johnnie's Giant'

    Mr Maple does too:
    Acer elegantulum x palmatum 'Johnnie's Giant' Japanese Maple

    The only place on the entire internet that lists it as Acer 'Johnnie Giant' is Esveld:
    Description of Acer 'Johnnie Giant' (elegantulum x palmatum)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
  12. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    In 2017 at the Roscoff symposium, in the cultivar work group, this classification was adopted as the "official classification" of the Maple Society. The classification was created by Cor van Gelderen, based on the work of Benoit Choteau. These are arguably the foremost JM experts in Europe now. The classification was accepted by the Netherlands horticultural association, where a large majority of Europe's maples are produced. The purpose is to simplify labeling which most consumers find very confusing.

    Theoretically the Nichols brothers accepted the idea of the classification, but haven't followed up by labeling that way; honestly on the whole it seems to be rather poorly accepted for the time being: in your example even Cor isn't using it correctly! I suppose that the specialty nurseries have a more informed consumer than the really big nurseries cranking out 'Orange Dream'…
     
  13. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    Didn't Cor van Gelderen try to group coral bark maples too a few years ago? Wasn't it something weird like red wood group? That didn't seem to take off either.

    So this is something the Maple Society is doing but not accepted by the scientific community as a whole in taxonomy?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
  14. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well, the scientific community doesn't give a hoot about how cultivars are organized! The MS endorsed and agreed to promote this classification, which seemed on the verge of being widely accepted, that's all. How maple cultivars are organized is not taxonomy.

    There have been many efforts of organizing JMs, mostly they have received little attention from the general public (and certainly none from the taxonomical community).

    However, taxonomically speaking, giving a maple parentage that is unconfirmed is incorrect. We know for sure which maple produced the fruit, but which fertilized it is a matter of guesswork in a garden context. To some extent, Cor's nomenclature addresses this issue.
     
  15. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    I think a lot of assumptions are being drawn about hybridization and that its parentage is unconfirmed. In a garden setting, sure this idea of the unknown is true. But in professional hybridization great care is taken to prevent accidental cross pollination.

    I don't see Cor's nomenclature being widely accepted outside of the Maple Society or his nursery. If you Google "Acer x elegantulum ‘Johnnie's Giant’" this forum is the only result.

    To be clear I appreciate you taking the time to educate me on the origin of this new thing Cor and The Maple Society have come up with. I do feel like the wheel is being reinvented. I don't see this being accepted more widely, but time will tell.

    Until then I will continue to use The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICNafp) which states:

    "A hybrid may also be indicated by a formula listing the parents. Such a formula uses the multiplication sign "×" to link the parents.
    "It is usually preferable to place the names or epithets in a formula in alphabetical order. The direction of a cross may be indicated by including the sexual symbols (♀: female; ♂: male) in the formula, or by placing the female parent first. If a non-alphabetical sequence is used, its basis should be clearly indicated." (H.2A.1)
    "
     
  16. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Sure. Although in my experience, most professionals growing with an eye to selecting new cultivars simply sow seedbeds, without much are at all. If you know for sure that the plant is the result of hand pollination, then "elegantulum x palmatum" is correct. But very often, there's an assumption, not a fact, hence "x elegantulum", which would be correct if the other parent isn't known. Perhaps my assumption was incorrect, but I will still argue that unless hand pollination was performed, you can't know who the other parent is, so stating the cross taxonomically using the 2 species is incorrect. In the rule "A hybrid may also be indicated by a formula listing the parents" I take "if known" to be implicit.

    The discussion is a little confusing, because none of this (at this point) has anything to do with Cor's divisions. He wouldn't give any species at all. True, he's the only hit that lists it as "Acer 'J's G'", but there aren't more than a handful of hits, for me anyway. So hardly a great sample space. I do see some of the FB groups using his naming conventions, sometimes, but certainly it hasn't made many inroads in the US, where even the MSNAB doesn't particularly support it -- but that's an entirely different discussion, heh. Cheers John, I appreciate you.
     
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  17. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    By your own logic, changing the name you are making an assumption that it's not hand pollinated. I would caution against it.
     
  18. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Whether it is hand pollinated or insect pollinated, it still looks like the pollen parent was Acer amoenum var. matsumurae, rather than a small leaved palmatum, so Acer elegantulum x palmatum would be wrong in any case. The pollen parent has likely been moved from Acer palmatum to Acer amoenum in the years since the cross was made (if it was indeed a deliberate cross).

    [Note - the Japanese always regarded Acers palmatum and amoenum to be different species, it has just taken the "western" scientific community over a hundred years to catch up.]
     
  19. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    I think that's part of the problem. Nursery trade and arboretum usually stick to the western scientific classification and Japan classifies A. palmatum and amoenum as different species. Then the Maple Society has its own "official classification" Acer 'Johnnie's Giant'. It's becoming a mess! I believe the Latin classification was initially intended to be a universal language, but that's clearly changed in modern times.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
  20. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    As far as I am aware the official western classification now separates Acer palmatum and A. amoenum. I really hope that is an official thing supported by scientific papers, and not just the Maple Society saying it is so and everyone else ignoring them.
     
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  21. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    Fingers crossed that as genetic testing becomes more widespread and inexpensive we will know the genetic truth! It will take time for large-scale genomic data to be compiled to address species classification issues. Hopefully I will see it done in maples in my lifetime.
     
  22. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    If you find information on this (idealy outside of a Maple Society newsletter) I'm very interested. I can't find anything but will keep looking. If I find something I will be sure to share it with the forum. Thank you!

    All I can find is something from 1954 indicating its an accepted subspecies of Acer palmatum in its native range:
    "Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara
    This subspecies is accepted, and its native range is S. Korea, Japan."
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
  23. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Active Member

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    Here are some more photos from today. New growth in the spring was much more red. This new growth is a pinkish green color.
     

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  24. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I've changed the 'x' letter to a × hybrid sign too (and also the cultivar name quotes from curved to straight quotes), to match the rest of the forum's threads.
     
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