Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Maples' started by Aceray, Nov 3, 2009.
Group: 'Higasa yama' is in matsumurae group. What group are: 'Beni schichihenge' and 'Bi ho' in?
Van Gelderen/Van Gelderen (1999, Maples for Gardens, Timber Press, Portland):
'Beni shichi henge' Palmatum Group 1c (Roseomarginatum Group)
'Higasa yama' Palmatum Group 1c
Vertrees/Gregory (2007, Timber Press Pocket Guide to Japanese Maples, Timber Press, Portland):
'Beni shichihenge' Palmatum Group--variegated
'Higasa yama' Matsumarae--variegated
'Bi ho' is a regular Acer palmatum ssp. palmatum type. I don't get this numbered group thing, but I would imagine it falls into whatever numbered group 'Sango kaku' is in.
Many thanks. I have too much time on my hands and I like to keep the database up to par. Aceray
Their numbered groups are defined in the book.
I suspected as much, and as chance would have it I checked the van Gelderen book out of the library today in order to look it up.
One question, are the numbered groups used widely or is it just a convenience for the sake of saving space in the book?
The numbered groups are just put forth in the Maples for Gardens book. I don't think they're officially recognized anywhere, and I personally don't think they help a lot. What we DO need is a set of categories that indicate leaf type, plant height, plant form, cold hardiness, spring color, summer color, fall color, and other points of interest (bark, flowers, etc.) Just putting a plant in 'Group 3b' is useless, IMHO.
Van Gelderens 1999 includes Appendix 2 - Maples for Particular Purposes with over 20 usage or character categories plus listings by Group of cultivars treated in the book.
Vertrees/Gregory 2001 contains an Appendix B - Guide to Uses and Characteristics wherein a table of maples is presented with values for each cultivar indicated under the headings Height, Form, Color, Group, Effects, Container, Bonsai, Rockery, Companion and Light.
It would be great that the tree type, size shape etc were all cut and dry right out of the book but from what i have seen over the last few years makes it hard for me to see this work.
I bought over 1000 japanese maple trees over the last few years from dfferent growers and seen the mess. I bought stock plants 'mother trees' from an old nursery and they had a trees called acer japonicum 'Kinkakure' which are now Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum'. I have an mature tree called Acer pictum 'Satsuki Beni' which came from an important collection and yet now I read that the tree is an Acer palmatum.
That is just the problem with type, as for size it gets crazier based on where the trees are grown. Some of the growers have found ways to supersize their plants. My point here is that climate zone, soil, amount of water etc has a huge impact on the growth of a tree.
I know I may be a bit off on the complete content of the thread but I am trying to get a better understanding the whole categorizing of "japanese maple"
I think the numbering classification is widely used in the British nursery trade, and so to some extend in Europe generally.
Hillier's manual also has an appendix "trees for specific usage" (paraphrased) which mentions a number of maples.
I agree with Amazing it is really hard to talk about size, maybe maximum size we can say, but cultural practices make such a difference... I'd be interested in how the "supersizing" works, personally! ;)
The difficulty of trying to group Acer palmatum varieties into strictly defined categories is highlighted by the existence of a group 7 in the previously mentioned book.
There is additionally the question of interpretation. For example, the authors put 'Shigarami' in group 1 (palmatum) but most other sources consider it to be of the amoenum type or subspecies. Also there is a very fine line between group 3 (matsumurae) and group 4 (dissectum), with 'Dissectum Paucum' on one side and 'Shigure bato' on the other.
I am not surprised the number system is not more widely known or used.
supersizing was kind of a joking term but at the same time I keep laughing when I receive some of my new trees. I spoke with a local grower and he mentioned that the growers in Oregon have more growing hours of the day since it heats up sooner in the day and stays warmer in the night. It also warms up sooner in the year and stays warmer later in the year which prolongs their growing season. They also have a near endless supply of water.
I am not a grower so I am not sure of all of this but I can say it is pretty weird to get a 8' tall Ap 'Ruby Stars' or what is even more amazing is to go visit their nurseries and see the sizes of some trees in their display gardens.
I guess that before getting into this grouping exercise, one must realize that A. palmatum and A. amoenum are different species. Western authors stubbornly keep A. amoenum as a ssp. of A.palmatum in spite of the wide consensus in Japan and solid evidence for the separation http://homepage2.nifty.com/chigyoraku/E-repo5.html. It maybe partly due to the economic impact of having to change all the labels ;o)).
This was already discussed in a previous thread http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=54939. As for A. matsumurae, the Flora of Japan position is that it is a ssp. of A. amoenum (view supported by their respective, non-overlapping, natural distribution in Japan http://mohsho.image.coocan.jp/EMempalm.html), although some Japanese experts argue that the evidence tend to favor A. matsumurae as a separate species.
Once you separate A. palmatum and its cultivars in one group, A. amoenum and its cultivars in another group, and A. matsumurae and its cultivars in a third group, things, like cold hardiness, pruning, hybridization,..... become more clear.
I tend to agree with the Japanese interpretation regarding these species, but, especially in public, it is so much easier to use Acer palmatum as a catch-all term, and I am guilty of falling into this trap.
The point remains, if different authors and experts cannot agree on the basic question of whether certain cultivars are Acer amoenum, or not, then there is not much hope for a complicated system of groups and sub-groups.
hallo someone have the link with the review of groups by Cor van Gelderen?
Hi Alex, I made a page for this on the new site. You can get there through the menus: Maple Cultivars -> cultivar classification and key. The direct link is
many thanks Emery!!