Appreciation: Ornamental samaras

Discussion in 'Maples' started by wcutler, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Here are two trees in Stanley Park in Vancouver that have so many red samaras that they look like red-flowering trees from some small distance.

    The first is an Acer palmatum of some sort. Leaves are around 7cm in length and width.
    Acer-palmatum_LagoonDr-nearCamelliaWalk_Cutler_20200604_140720.jpg Acer-palmatum_LagoonDr-nearCamelliaWalk_Cutler_20200604_140741.jpg Acer-palmatum_StanleyPark-top-of-CamelliaPath_Cutler_20200605_153220.jpg

    And here is an Acer pseudoplatanus. This species very common around here, but I needed help on this one, which looks so different from sycamore maples I've seen that I was sure it was a new tree to me. Well, the habit is certainly different - has it been coppiced? And the samaras are so small, but I suppose it's early in the season and they just haven't grown to size yet.
    Acer-pseudoplatanus_StanleyParkPuttingGreenLawn_Cutler_20200605_151230.jpg Acer-pseudoplatanus_StanleyParkPuttingGreenLawn_Cutler_20200606_184807.jpg Acer-pseudoplatanus_StanleyParkPuttingGreenLawn_Cutler_20200605_151547.jpg Acer-pseudoplatanus_StanleyParkPuttingGreenLawn_Cutler_20200606_185006.jpg
    Acer-pseudoplatanus_StanleyParkPuttingGreenLawn_Cutler_20200605_151700.jpg Acer-pseudoplatanus_StanleyParkPuttingGreenLawn_Cutler_20200606_185119.jpg Acer-pseudoplatanus_StanleyParkPuttingGreenLawn_Cutler_20200605_152149.jpg
     
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  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    You don't need to be told how lucky you are to live in close proximity to so many unique and beautiful plants.

    Thank you for sharing them with those of us who will never see them in person.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Margot, you don't have sycamore maples over there on the island? I know they're not native to North America, but they are very common here, though not with a habit like this one. And Japanese maples. I guess I take the urban landscape for granted, though not really - I often walk around thinking that except for the absence of labels, I live in a botanical garden in that it seems like there's one of everything - I just don't know what they all are.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Acer heldreichii from the Balkans (specimen in photo cultivated in UK):
     

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  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Unlike much of the countryside urban areas have a bunch of people all packed together on small residential lots that are often open to the street. So a body can see a number of different gardens - and the different plants each contains - in quick succession just walking down a single block. And if a given city happens to have one or more botanic gardens within its borders - as does Vancouver - then that adds to the number of visually accessible plant varieties present.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thank you, Ron. There is a new one on the boulevard on my block, a Parks Board planting! I ran out to see why I hadn't noticed anything exciting - there are indeed tons of samaras, no larger yet than about 5 mm, so only little red dots. Oh boy, oh boy, I am looking forward to seeing these.
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    While we're waiting for HOT WINGS®, here's another A. pseudoplatanus with nice big red samaras, along the seawall at English Bay.
    Acer-pseudoplatanus_EnglishBay-StanleyParkSeawall_Cutler_20200617_195618.jpg Acer-pseudoplatanus_EnglishBay-StanleyParkSeawall_Cutler_20200617_195714.jpg

    Next to it is A. pseudoplatanus Atropurpureum Group, very few samaras, but a really good collection of Acer gall mites. They're kind-of decorative in their own way.
    Acer-pseudoplatanusAtropurpureumGroup_EnglishBay-StanleyParkSeawall_Cutler_20200617_200009.jpg
     
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  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    The panicles of Samaras are so pretty, but over here it is such a common site that people just ignore them. They also set seed so easily people remove them as weeds to stop the Sycamore taking over areas of their gardens. My daughter lives next to woodland with many Sycamore trees and her garden constantly has new seedlings appearing.
    I've also been reading on Wikipedia that in New Zealand the Sycamore may be listed as an invasive species. I can see why tbh.

    D
     
  10. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    I'm sure we must but I don't see them often. Like so many trees that need 'some moisture', Sycamore maple don't thrive without irrigation and therefore, are not seen growing wild here on Vancouver Island.
     
  11. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Sycamores that have consistently red samaras are called f. erythrocarpum (Carrière) Pax (1864). We have a few of these around here, but many that are red during a short period. In our climate they are indeed invasive, I mow or pull thousands every year (and sometimes select variegated ones).

    A. pseudoplatanus is also called "non-native" in Western France, but is naturalized in our forests and coastlines so that it is considered indigenous by French. It's certainly been widely established for many hundreds of years. The site of wild var purpureum flashing in the sunlight is memorable in coastal inlets and on the Breton islands. How long does it take for a plant to be native I wonder? Surely well established species spread by animals are eventually considered native in their "newer" habitats?

    A. tataricum ssp ginalla often has red samaras, but flowers quite early and in recent years spring frosts have led to diminished fruiting. Many of the cultivars also disappointing for there fall color here, notably 'Flame' which turns a muddy yellow and brown.

    A. campestre is also sometimes remarkable for its samaras, we are growing 'Red Noses' and 'Red Shine'.

    IMG_20200515_194703_1.jpg IMG_20200515_194958_1.jpg

    A. cappadocicum ssp sinicum is remarkable both for its cherry red samaras and brilliant new growth. Has the city planted any of these Wendy? Should do well there, and doesn't get very big.

    IMG_20200607_134647_1.jpg IMG_20200607_134654_1.jpg IMG_20200607_134705_1.jpg

    -E
     
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  12. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    I doubt that introduced species could ever be considered native because, by definition, they live beyond their former distributional range, having s arrived in a new area through human activity.
     
  13. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning Emery, regarding how long before a non native becomes native. The answer is how long is a piece of string!!!? Or 0 to a million years. Rabbits were introduced here in the UK by the Roman's and officially they are non native although everybody thinks they are native. Same for Grey Squirrels and Munkjack deer.
    So my point is that the Sycamore in France is accepted until it's not due to native habitat destruction and tested in a court of law. We are covered by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for non native species, I expect you have similar in France. But I think you will be disappointed with the answer.

    D
     
  14. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Spot on Margot.
    D
     
  15. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, and stinging nettles and ground elder brought by the Romans, also, as I understand it! Yet surely nettles are considered native in the UK now? In any case as you probably imagined, my question was largely rhetorical, since I already know the official answer. I'm not familiar with the legislative framework here in France, though.

    But my wording implied my point, of course. Ranges change over time, due to changes in both climate and species. If birds and warming -- or opening ecological niches caused by other species' disappearance -- enlarge the range of a species, is it to be considered non-native in the new range? Or is the distinction purely between "maturalised" and "native" species. (How long is a piece of string, indeed). Sycamores were presumably introduced by humans as they're a valuable timber tree, though not widely used in building here.

    Oddly enough we never see grey squirrels in the forest here, though red are common enough (though shy). I know they're a huge pest in the UK.
     
  16. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi Emery, tbh it's a minefield that is never really tested until for some reason it used to cross my path to deal with. Thankfully no more lol.
    Oh how wonderful to see Red Squirrels, only small pockets of them left in England now due to non native greys. Here I go again !!! Back to the garden with me, lol

    D
     

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