Identification: a Guizhou maple

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Roman Bauer, May 9, 2019.

  1. Roman Bauer

    Roman Bauer New Member

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    Hello ! Can someone please help me identify this maple ? Photographed in mountains of Guizhou, China cca 25 km south of Leishan a month ago. 1250 m asl. The seedlings grew on the forest floor of a mature Cunninghamia forest. Unfortunately, no inflorescence yet… Thank you very much !! Roman B. Prague, Czech Republic
     

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  2. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Interesting! I'm following. Thought at first it might be a form of A. chingii as it is present in Guizhou but it is not, that is 5 lobed and margins are mostly entire.
     
  3. Roman Bauer

    Roman Bauer New Member

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    Meanwhile, a mail correspondence with an expert occured: it is nearly impossible to identify JUVENILE maples acording to the JUVENILE leaves appearence (I could have anticipated that), however, given the geographic location, Acer flabellatum and/or Acer elegantulum are probable candidates.
     
  4. AlainK

    AlainK Rising Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I don't have Acer flabellatum, nor have I seen any so far, but I have Acer elegantulum grown from seed and even when the plant is young, the lobes are not so thin.

    I found this link about Acer flabellatum var. yunnanense:

    Acer Flabellatum Var. Yunnanense from Burncoose Nurseries

    Since the province of Guizhou borders Yunnan, this may be a good candidate...
     
  5. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well of course that's true, it's notoriously difficult (see practically impossible) to ID a seedling when you don't know the provenance. But you can perform a process of elimination to narrow it down. For example, it is not A. flabellatum. I agree it doesn't resemble elegantulum, but there is a possibility of local variations.

    Also it's entirely possible that it might be a hybrid, as maples of this section are promiscuous.

    If I had the time I would search on Flora of China for maples that occur in the province and the altitude where it was found.
     
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  6. Roman Bauer

    Roman Bauer New Member

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    Alain, the Flora of China claims Acer flabellatum var. yunnanense to be synonymous both for both A. flabellatum and A. campbellii, which does not make the whole puzzle easier. Luckily a very tiny seedling now resides vith me in PRG potted and even if it is not winterhardy here (as it probably would be in your home town) I still have fair chance to observe it growing... So report may follow in future.
     
  7. Roman Bauer

    Roman Bauer New Member

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    Hello, emery. Will you please tell me why you exclude A, flabellatum ? As mentioned in my reply to Alain, Flora oc China does not make it easier due to approx. dozens of synonyms. As also mentioned, there is a certain chance to observe the seedling maturing, so one day I may come with more exact info...
     
  8. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Sorry, saw this earlier and forgot to reply.

    I don't agree with FOC on everything either, and I believe over the next 20 years we will see some modifications coming along. But taxonomy is like religion, the faith of some will be in the book! :)

    Truly when I looked at your picture originally I was not thinking the morphological differences that flabellatum might have up into this area. I have seen lots of them but never one so narrowly lobed and so acuminate. But of course it's foolish to rule anything out based on a single photo. As time goes on, we get some more mature leaves, can look at buds, flowers and fruit, we'll have a better idea of what it might be; or what it's not.

    Still, flabellatum is usually a 7 lobed leaf, with occasional 5 lobed rarely mixed in, which is why some consider it a ssp of campbellii.
     

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