Identification: Japanese maple with grass-like leaves

Discussion in 'Maples' started by wcutler, Jun 29, 2020.

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  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I have seen a maple with skinny leaves, but these leaves are more like grass. I've assumed it's Acer palmatum, but that might not even be right. It's outside the Parks Board Office at the edge of Stanley Park.
    Acer-palmatum-grass-like-leaves_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200629_152034.jpg Acer-palmatum-grass-like-leaves_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200629_152204.jpg Acer-palmatum-grass-like-leaves_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200629_152233.jpg Acer-palmatum-grass-like-leaves_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200629_152123.jpg
     
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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Good morning Wendy. That could well be a large 'Fairy hair'.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks, Acerholic. I have found a video on 'Fairy Hair' with a lot of photos that says this is "truly unique", so that would imply there isn't any other name in the running. Except that on most sites, it's Acer palmatum 'Fairy Hair' and on one I see it's Acer amoenum 'Fairy Hair': Acer amoenum FAIRY HAIR from Maillot-Erable - The store MAILLOT-ERABLE.
    There is a Botany Photo of the Day on it: Acer palmatum ‘Fairy Hair’ that has a link to this forum thread: Acer palmatum 'Fairyhair'.
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Good morning Wendy, its Acer palmatum. Produced by Tallon Buckholtz.
     
  5. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    There are three subspecies of Acer palmatum :
    - Acer palmatum ssp. palmatum
    - Acer palmatum ssp. amoenum
    - Acer palmatum ssp. matsumurae

    When referring to cultivars, the subspecies is usually not mentioned in the name, but it seems Maillot has adopted this "nomenclature". I tend to think that since cross-breeding is frequent, even with other species than palmatum (e.g. X circinatum), I can't really see how it could be of any use, but why not.

    Anyway, I don't think calling a cultivars "Acer amoenum 'something'" is not correct. I wonder what people with more expertise think of it...
     
  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Good morning Alain, I do wonder if Maillot wanted to 'appear' different to attract more sales of this one. Why I don't know, as it's a special cultivar anyway. Just a theory!!!
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thank you, @Alain. That was helpful.

    Last night I noticed that there is a photo of the leaves from this very tree in a new book by @Nina Shoroplova : Legacy of Trees: Purposeful Wandering in Vancouver's Stanley Park (Heritage House Publishing, Toronto, 2020, p. 214. I don't have permission to post the photo (Nina would need explicit permission from the publisher), but she did not get the impression that it was a tree of grass-like leaves, just thought Japanese maple. Her photo of two leaves close-up shows around six green leaves similar to those in a photo of A. palmatum 'Koto No Ito' shown at Acer palmatum 'Koto-no-ito' harp strings.turns orange-yellow in the autumn Japanese maple,3 LT POT - Broadway Road Nurseries. There were as well a lot of yellow grass-like leaves in her photo.

    Does that change the ID? I see in the forum thread that I mentioned above that there was, at least 13 years ago, some dispute whether 'Fairy Hair' and 'Koto Ito Komachi' were the same. With the presence of some broader leaves, is this more likely one of those cultivars? So much for "truly unique". I think anyone who says something like that is asking for trouble. :)

    Would this be said to have di-morphic leaves?
     
  8. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    EDIT :
    "I don't think calling a cultivar "Acer amoenum 'something'" is correct" makes more sense.

    In Vertrees & Gregory, under the names of cultivars there is a mention of the "group", which is not as precise as ssp. For instance, I opened the book at random, and I can read "PALMATUM GROUP", "OTHER GROUP", "DWARF GROUP", etc. I suspect it refers more to the overall features of the cultivars, what it looks closer to than anything else for most of the trees listed.

    It might be an over-interpretation of such labellings. Our eminent dendrologists here could perhaps clarify this.

    ... But what would you think of a cultivar called Acer Other Group 'Koshimino' ?........ ^_^

    Makes me think of a famous "blue maple" that once was for sale on E-Bay ;°)
     
  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Good evening Wendy, the two are so similar, but Fairy hair is finer. Some say it is not !!
    I have added two photos of my Koto ito komachi Summer and Autumn, for you to compare.
    Talking about unique, they are really in the maple world. But more than 1 unique. Lol
     

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  10. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I don't know about 'Fairy Hair', but it happens on 'Koto no Ito'. So far mine only has strap leaves, although when looking at the photo, I can see that at least one lobe is wider than the others (on the right) :

    acerp-kotonoito_200702a.jpg

    This happens on some maple cultivars, especially strapleaf or laceleaf maples (but not all of them !)
     
  11. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Here are more photos.
    From the side I looked at, the north side of the tree, almost all leaves are grass-like, except for one small branchlet.
    Acer-palmatumFairy Hair_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200706_133150.jpg Acer-palmatumFairy Hair_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200706_133208.jpg Acer-palmatumFairy Hair_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200706_133818.jpg

    But this time I looked through to the other side of the tree, so went to that side, and most of the leaves on that side have lobes around 1 cm in thickness.
    Acer-palmatumFairy Hair_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200706_133429.jpg Acer-palmatumFairy Hair_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200706_133300.jpg Acer-palmatumFairy Hair_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200706_133318.jpg Acer-palmatumFairy Hair_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200706_133347.jpg

    Acer-palmatumFairy Hair_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200706_133626.jpg Acer-palmatumFairy Hair_ParksBoardBuilding_Cutler_20200706_134020.jpg

    It does not seem to be the case that all the thinner leaves are from a particular limb.

    So my question is, do we still think this is Acer palmatum 'Fairy Hair'?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  12. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Good morning Wendy, not now, after seeing the leaves close up . Good photo btw.
    Looking more like Koto ito komachi, Koto no ito or Scolopendrifolium. I'm thinking the latter tbh.
    I will compare the leaves with mine later if thats OK,as I'm just off out.
     
  13. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @wcutler, I'm stood at a que at the Supermarket atm, but thought I would send you a photo of my koto ito Komachi from last year. Think we are getting close.!!?
     

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  14. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thank you, Acerholic. What would distinguish that from 'Koto No Ito'?
     
  15. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Tbh Wendy I can not make out any difference really. Perhaps someone with a better eye for these things can but so many are so very very similar. I'm at the head of the Q now so will speak later. Lol
     
  16. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    No problem - I'm going to sleep now, won't have much time again until tomorrow evening.
     
  17. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Nite nite
     
  18. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @wcutler, Just got home and photographed these. Koto Ito komachi, Villa Taranto and Beni Otaki. Now looking at your measured photo the Bei Otaki is very close. The leaf on yours appears to have 5 lobes ? Which is consistent with all three of mine.
    I lost my Scolopendrifolium in the Winter so cannot compare. It is the parent of Fairy hair and is similar to Koto ito komachi.
    Hopefully we are getting close.
     

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  19. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Do those cultivars also have the thin grass-like leaves?
     
  20. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @wcutler, yes but not always, seems a strange answer I know, but these varieties have lots of variation in leaf form. The older the tree gets the thinner the leaves. New growth leaves are always thicker that is why you are seeing this difference.
    Hope that makes sense Wendy.
     
  21. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @wcutler, Just thought I would add a photo of one of my baby 'Koto ito komachi' in April this year. Do these leaves look like the ones on the Acer in the park Wendy?
     

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