Identification: Is this red pygmy?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by pphdam, Jun 20, 2022.

  1. pphdam

    pphdam Member

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    I got this tree from an eBay seller in spring 2020, it was sold as a young red pygmy (possibly one year old) but it does not look like red pygmy. It is planted in full sun from 8:00am to 2:00pm, the colour is deep red, and its trunk above the graft also has deep red tone. It is slow grower and about 50cm tall at the moment.

    What do you about this tree ? Is red pygmy? If not what it might be?

    Thanks

    P
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi P, it looks like Red Pygmy to me. A very nice one you have there as well.
     
  3. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi P. Oddly, it doesn't look like 'Red Pygmy' to me, or not quite. Hard to say of course. They go darker in the direct sun, but I have one in direct sun, and it's not that dark. Also, the angle of the basal lobes somehow look angled too up. And the lobes seem a little thick? Even the way the lobes are held seems different, they seem more curved.

    But you know, maybe it is RP. I'm not very good at distinguishing similar JMs, for a fact. Certainly a pretty plant, I see the dark color as an advantage really. TBH I don't think RP is a particularly distinguished plant.
     
  4. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I have to agree with @emery this does not look true to type for Red Pygmy, lobes seem too thick and down-curled, colour too dark. We all know that the linearlobum types can push out thicker lobed leaves when growing quickly but usually you can see true to type thin lobes in the lower and older branches. (It seems like a very nice plant in any case, whatever the name).

    Have to disagree with you there, I like it!
     
  5. pphdam

    pphdam Member

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    @Acerholic, @emery and @maf, thanks for the reply.

    The leave colour and shape, and trunk colour do not match the description and photos of RP that I have seen on the internet. It certainly does not look like the popular trees like enkan, beni intake and pung kil. Just wonder what it might be.
     
  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Red Pygmy does start off with thicker leaves when young and become the thinner lobes when it ages. I have seen many RP 's with a mixture of leaves. So I wouldn't rule it out as not being a Red Pygmy.
     
  7. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Not that I don't like it, I do, it's just that it looks like most of the Villa Taranto seedlings I get, and I never really saw it as a big improvement over 'Atrolinear'.

    Indeed @Acerholic, I wouldn't rule out RP either. They're so mutable, it may just be taking a while to show more mature characteristics.

    WRT the stem color, that's not a reliable indicator in my view, as a stressed or sun scortched stem can go very red. I seem to remember RP with a mostly green stem though.
     
  8. pphdam

    pphdam Member

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    @Acerholic, I also thought of the age of the tree, it is possible that its leaves may change when getting older. Also I consider a stressed tree as @emery has said but I remember that the leaves are also deep red in spring. This is the photo i took in summer 2020 a few months after I bought it, sorry for the poor quality as I can't find the the original image.
     

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  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Yes the linear and palmate mix is there as in many Red Pygmy's. It can be a strange one I've found, with one year so different from the previous.
    The leaves in your photo are a bit pink/red for Summer Red Pygmy. I think you will have to monitor it over the next few years Tbh and accept that RP are just like this. I still like the look of it from your posting #1
     
  10. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Quite often, cultivars have leaves that revert to a more of less color or shape, like variegated maples such as 'Butterfly' reverting to plain green or some dissected that revert to full leaves. It sometimes happen on some of mine.

    In that case, it's better to remove these because they're usually stronger than the "real" cultivar (more surface for photosynthesis?). If you cut out the leaves, leaving the petiole, it's very likely the new ones will be like they should be on the cultivar.

    But this is just a general comment, I don't have a 'red Pigmy'...
     
  11. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    @emery Green stems on mine..skinnier lobes also..mine goes dark some years in summer but noticeably lighter red in these two specimens below
     

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  12. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Ugh, I just drove by our butterfly on the lawnmower, it has been deer damaged and is looking awful anyway. Decision made: it goes back to a pot, it is poorly located (deer or no). Everything in its group is really suffering.

    I do think it's really hard to use color too much as an IDing characteristic, because it depends so much on nutrients, light, etc. So I wouldn't want to over-emphasize it -- and as I said I'm bad at this game anyway -- but it was a factor in my initial comment. I've never seen an RP that dark, and I think it fair to say I've seen quite a few. Rich, yours look more as I would expect, but who knows? :)
     
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  13. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, this is something that we often forget.
     
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  14. pphdam

    pphdam Member

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    I will definitely monitor to see what it looks like in few years, interested to know if it is a RP or not.
     
  15. pphdam

    pphdam Member

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    @AlainK , thanks for the advice. I think I will keep it as it
    @AlainK , thanks for the advice and will keep it in mind. As for this Acer, I think I will keep it as it is because its colour is so special and I would like to see how it looks like in a few years.
     
  16. pphdam

    pphdam Member

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    @dicky5ash, your RP is lovely. I think I am going to buy another RP but stay away from eBay :)
     
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  17. pphdam

    pphdam Member

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    Oh dear, hope your butterfly is OK.

    It is OK, thanks for the comment. After seeing the replies from members here, I feel lucky to to have a special and unique dark colour linear leave acer, whether it is a RP or not is less important now. Perhaps I will find out in a few years.
     
  18. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    The genuine 'Red Pygmy' isn't the largest or fastest growing plant, I wouldn't put it past an unscrupulous seller to substitute for a faster growing form. If your mystery plant were to be a fast grower then that is another mark against it being true to type. Also, take note of the autumn colour, 'Red Pygmy' tends towards the yellow/orange side of the spectrum.
    The side by side comparison will be the only way to know for sure...
     
  19. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    How about this one, is it RP?

    20220621_204904.jpg 20220621_204933.jpg
     
  20. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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  21. MapleZen

    MapleZen Active Member

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    Also looks a bit like Hubb's Red Willow to me.
     
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  22. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    In terms of growth habit this is RP at Westonbirt arboretum taken in May 2022
     

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  23. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well, you all know what I'm like, so that was the biggest hint. Of course it isn't RP, it's a seedling from Villa Taranto. This particular one has a bit more delicate leaves and seems a little dwarfish also, but who knows what it will do. I have another going right now that is almost 10 years old, and still in a 5l pot. Anyway, you get my point!

    Happily VT germinates pretty easily, and as I park maples needing heavy shade under ours, we get quite a few volunteers. I keep meaning to germinate a tray, they make great gifts.

    Interesting, the habit is quite like VT here also. Our RP is more compact, but is young too. This hardly seems to qualify as a dwarf, just slow growing maybe? Interesting Vertrees/Gregory mentions it's less rangy than 'Atrolineare' when older, but this specimen doesn't seem to bear that out. Also they say it was taken from an old unnamed Italian plant, so who knows, maybe it's an offspring of VT after all! (I haven't checked the dates to know if this is possible).

    Really nice to see that they've adopted the MS (Cor's) system for labelling.

    I can never remember which it is, so I looked it up: in fact 'Hupp's Red Willow' is the cultivar, "Hubb's RW" is a synonym that probably started from a copying error, but it very widely disseminated. (NB -- this comment is incorrect. The correct name is 'Hubb's Red Willow' as pointed out below).
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022
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  24. MapleZen

    MapleZen Active Member

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    Hi emery,

    According to MrMaple, the cultivar is named after Elwood Hubb of Riverton, NJ, which would make "Hupp's" the typo.

    Guess it depends on whom you want to believe!
     
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  25. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for this. It probably explains my constant source of confusion around this one! What's more, I think I've talked to Matt about the very question, but as with all texting it's really hard to find without launching an in-depth search. I got the info just now from a reviewed source, so it should have been good.

    But, I'm going with Matt (and you) on this one, he's in the best position to know about the original source. As you've documented.

    This thread on our forum also addresses the issue:

    Hupp's or Hubb's Red Willow

    -E
     
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