One Corallinum is not like the other...

Discussion in 'Maples' started by maplesmagpie, May 27, 2015.

  1. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    I have two Corallinums, one from Acer1987 and one from Topiary Gardens.

    The Acer1987 is small with very fine branches and a dense, bushy habit. It keeps dying back in the cold, so I don't have a very large specimen. I've had it for two years.

    To replace it, I ordered another one from a different seller. It looks like a completely different tree! It arrived over three feet tall, with a thick trunk and short, very spaced-out branches. The leaves also look very different. For the Acer1987, they are smaller and have (for lack of a better word) a pillowed look to them. For this one, they're larger and flat.

    Do you have a Corallinum in your collection? What do you think of these two?

    First photo is Acer1987's now
    Second, Third are the new one now
    Fourth is the new one this spring
    Fifth is Acer1987's last fall.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  2. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    The five lobed one with the crinkled leaves looks more true to the published description than the seven lobed one with flat leaves.
     
  3. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    I heard back from Diana. There must be two Corallinums in the trade (?), because her mother tree is directly from Buchholz:

    "As for Corallinum, my mother plant is 11 yrs old and it is 4 ft tall and wide. This plant originally came from Buchholz nursery. I have noticed too that some photos have 7 lobes and some have 5 lobes. Some are crinkled and some are not. I did go to Buchholz and saw the original plant and it was 6 ft tall and 5 ft wide. It was gorgeous."

    I trust Diana and I trust Buccholz, it's just interesting when you look around at different nurseries. There seem to be two cultivars.

    Either way, the color, size, and shape are similar, and I'm happy to have it. I'll just keep both trees going and see how they end up!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  4. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, you definitely have two different cultivars; if there are two in the trade then logically one of them must be wrong. Please keep us informed how they grow and what color they exhibit in the spring. I honestly think that the one you received from Topiary Gardens does not show the characteristics of true 'Corallinum'.

    The original 'Corallinum' may have been introduced by Hillier's nursery of Winchester, England; they certainly had it in the early part of the twentieth century. Description from "Hilliers' Manual of Trees and Shrubs", circa 1970:
    In the second edition of Japanese Maples, J.D. Vertrees makes a big deal out of seeing in person the specimen plant of Sir Harold Hillier at the Hillier Gardens and Arboretum. So he at least considered the Hillier form to be the original and true 'Corallinum'.

    All of which sounds exactly like your Acer 1987 plant.

    I would add that Buchholz nursery also carries a cultivar that they are calling 'Happy Corallinum' which seems to be a similarly colored tree that is more strongly growing than the original 'Corallinum'. Pictures I have seen show this one also has the crinkled 5 lobed leaves.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Buchholz used to supply Acer pseudoplatanus 'Prinz Handjery' to the trade as A. p. 'Brilliantissimum' - it is always a mistake to accept identification of nursery plants based on who they came from rather than what they look like.

    There can be mix-ups or replacement of one plant by another even at nurseries that originated the cultivar being grown.
     
  6. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    I tend to believe that the acer1987 tree is the true cultivar, but I'm comforted that this mistaken cultivar will behave similarly and stay a similar size. At least I can keep it where I've planted it. And who knows-- perhaps it will withstand the cold better. We'll see.

    It doesn't seem uncommon, reading back into archived threads, for there to be two or more versions of a cultivar going under a similar name. Mr. Shep used to comment on it a lot-- there being a Oregon form, Japanese form, Wada form or Kobayashi forms etc.

    These do seem very different when it comes to leaf shape and leaf size-- I'll give it a few years and see if it's keeping up with its Corallinum namesake.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  7. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Maplesmagpie, I have seen some photo's of a cultivar variously identified as 'Bonfire', 'Seigai' or 'Akaji nishiki' that look similar to your seven lobed one, especially in the leaf opening phase. See page 230 of 'Japanese Maples' 4th edition for more details, or page 127 in the 2nd edition. I fear that the naming and history of that one is even more confused than 'Corallinum'!
     
  8. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    I think you've gotten it in the right range, maf. I've looked on Google images, in Vertrees, and in the photo threads here at UBC and my tree definitely looks more like a Seigai or Bonfire rather than Corallinum, and yes-- Vertrees says Seigai and Bonfire sometimes were equated with Corallinum.

    Going further down the rabbit hole, I started reading here about Seigai and Bonfire, which linked to other articles where Mr. Shep and mjh1676 discussed the confusion and the differences between Seigai, Akaji nishiki and Bonfire.

    Seigai thread: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=12830

    Bonfire thread: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=9538

    Discussion of Seigai/Bonfire confusion: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=12830

    In this thread, Mr. Shep describes the three different trees: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=11122

    Unfortunately he doesn't put a name to each tree he describes. Based on what mjh1676 said in the Bonfire thread (post #9), I'm guessing the tall on Mr. Shep describes is Akaji nishiki.
    To add to the confusion, there seem to be some forms of these trees with a yellow-orange cast.



    So...given what Diana has shared about this tree, it's "Corallinum" name passed down from two reputable nurseries, and the uncanny resemblance of the leaf photos (especially the emerging leaves, which were very distinctive) to photos of Seigai and Bonfire, I'm guessing my mystery tree is some form of Bonfire or Seigai.

    If anyone can tell the difference between them, please chime in!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    What happens is that independent occurrences of similar variants get put on the market under the names of existing cultivars - sometimes growers will want to make use of the success of established names rather than coin their own, new names for what are actually newly introduced, different plants. Or may not even realize that their sport or seedling is technically not the same as the existing clone (or clones) of the same type. Also when importation of named forms from Japan is involved it seems possible the language barrier might sometimes get in the way, with western importers perhaps not understanding the fine points of what Japanese sources are saying about the naming of the stock they are buying. And there have been instances where Japanese sources doing the importing and western sales themselves have coined different cultivar names for the western market. The 'Shirotae' cherry being sold to the North American market as 'Mt. Fuji' for instance.
     
  10. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The edition of the 'Maples of the World' book that I have lists two plants named Corallinum, the earlier Hillier Maple (before 1900) and the Veitch Maple (1904). The two Maples did not originate as seedlings from the same parents. The Veitch plant was touted as being derived from Sango kaku or Senkaki. I believe one of the forms of Coral Tower is believable to have been the parent plant. In ground along the North side of the entryway into the nursery were nine specialized form Senkaki that leafed out in the Spring with allover pink colored leaves. The old Senkaki from Japan does not do this, neither does Sango kaku and its variant forms but Waka momiji Red Stem can leaf out with some very short lasting rose-pink colored leaves here but can be allover rose-pink held longer in Pennsylvania as seen at Raraflora nursery in the past.

    None of the current offerings of Corallinum have the exact shade of pink in the photo on the left shown on page 128 of the second edition book. I have not seen that Maple for resale in Oregon in years but I can see it in two collections around here.

    The "Acer" plant is consistent with what many nurseries are selling as Corallinum in Oregon. The second Maple is not consistent with the Oregon Corallinum, nor is it consistent with the Veitch form Corallinum either at this time. All I am going to say at this point in time is that it is not a Bonfire, Seigai or Akaji nishiki.

    I do feel seeing what this plant does in photos during the growing season will tell more of what it probably is. The leaf color as it leafs out, the leaf color as the leaves have fully expanded, the trunk color in the Spring, the leaf color during late Spring/early Summer where you are, the leaf color during the Summer and early Fall, the trunk color in the Fall and Winter, the Fall colors of the leaves. What is important to know is how consistent the leaf coloring has been at these stages in the past. This is the area that so many people fail in their wanting to know what they have as they have not had the Maple long enough to know how to answer the questions or have not paid enough attention to detail as to what is going on with their plant.

    Also, I have seen with my own eyes budwood come in from one major source in which all of the paper labels on the wood had fallen off more than once. It was common to have the grafter ask me back to visit them in March and April to help determine what they got for wood. I have been through it a lot in Oregon. We hand selected and gathered our own wood for grafting, never did we have Maple budwood come in from anybody. If we brought in Maples we brought in whole plants, unlike most of our current day nurseries do even still today.

    Sometime post your current photos you very recently showed on Facebook in the other thread. There are people selling your Maple so, perhaps, they will chime in with their thoughts.

    In defense of the mail order Maple sellers they do a good job of offering good plants that are reasonably named correctly but there are times they get in wood from one of their mentors that is labeled wrong. Was it done on purpose or completely inadvertent. Much of the time no malice was ever intended, so we side with a possible inadvertent mix-up and try to move on from there.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  11. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Jim,there are just one maybe two nurseries over here advertising their plants as 'Hilliers Corallinum.What do you think are the chances it's the old plant or has that expired?
     
  12. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    Thank you, Jim. That's a response that will get me thinking.

    Here are some recent (May 30) photos of the mystery cultivar:
     

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  13. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    Here are some photos of the two different 'Corallinum' cultivars from today. The plants both get full sun. The mystery cultivar is the first two photos, grown in the ground. The last three photos are the Acer1987 Corallinum, now grown in a pot. This is my second season with the mystery cultivar ( bought spring 2015), and my fourth with the Acer1987 cultivar (fall 2013). The mystery cultivar tends to get a dark army green in the summer, the Acer1987 stays much redder and is mixed with more bright green.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  14. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    I'm sorry to go backwards in time, but this was what they both looked like at bud break-- the first two showing the mystery cultivar (including the bark color changes in the second photo...I ended up cutting off that whippish new growth). The third photo is the Acer1987 Corallinum. They looked quite different at this stage.
     

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  15. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    And this was ten days later (May 22), showing them at their most vivid color. First one the mystery cultivar, second one the Acer1987 Corallinum.
     

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  16. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I believe Hillier's still have a wholesale nursery. The thing to do is contact them and ask if they are still propagating the Corallinum mentioned in several books. Perhaps an online catalog will answer this question. If they are no longer selling the Maple ask them who they know still has the old plant for resale. They know how important sourcing is to Maples so I think they will reply to your query.

    Jim
     
  17. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Houzi, the reason to contact Hillier's is to learn if their Maple is still in the nursery trade. Over so much time and who knows how many different type rootstocks used for this Maple, there should be some variance seen from the original plant. Generally, the most noticeable changes will be in the leaf color and larger leaf size. It is because of this that we should be a little more tolerant when we make comments, myself included, that what someone is touting and selling as a Corallinum variant might be somewhat accurate after all. Even the Veitch Maple can throw out pink colored leaves. It is just that we have to deal with so much he said, she said and determining what is factual information can be rather difficult to firmly grasp.

    Check with the source nursery first and then perhaps they can confirm another nursery in Great Britain is selling the old Maple.

    Jim
     
  18. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Sorry Jim,the only way I can find to contact them is via a normal trade enquiry.We'll have to wait & see if it's forwarded to the relevant people.Also just out of interest,enquired about the original Ap'Crippsii'...doesn't hurt to ask:)
     
  19. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  20. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Cheers Jim,that is the page via which I contacted them.
     

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