Unusual Fall coloring

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Gomero, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I have a friend who lives in Southern Japan and who sent me the picture below. I told him I was very surprised to see the pink Fall coloring in the maples in the lower right. I have never seen pink in the Fall before. Have you seen this in your gardens?

    Gomero
     

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  2. prairiestyle

    prairiestyle Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    The closest I've seen to pink in fall color has been in my Acer maximowiczianum. I don't have a picture, and this year wasn't particularly good for fall color in a lot of my maples, but a google image search shows a few examples - though not quite a bright as in your photo.
     
  3. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Not quite a true pink, the closest to pink I have grown that I can think of was this green dissectum which becomes almost a fluorescent pink/red some years in the Fall.

    diss1.jpg

    Also I have seen pink as a transitional colour in some Acer palmatum that are changing in autumn. For example this large palmatum at Westonbirt is pink at the top right. I wonder what the overall colour would have been a few days later?

    tall1.jpg
     
  4. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Well I suppose there is pink and then there is pink
    Beni Gasa struck me as being very pinkish this past autumn ... I leave you to decide whether this is a shade of red or in fact a pink
    It strikes me as very similar to the 'pink' in Gomero's pic
     

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  5. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    It's funny you should mention pink.I knew nothing of JMs until autumn of 2008.Saw a bright pink tree in a garden centre(beni otaki)...thought impossible!...that's how I got hooked.
     
  6. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks all for your answers.
    I am not an artist ;-)), but I know that to make pink you need red and white. So the question is, in the Fall, if there is pink where is the white coming from?. We see true pinks in the spring with cultivars that have white (i.e.: lack of pigments since all light is reflected) variegation (Pink Flamingo). One may think that pink appears in the Fall when all the chlorophyll is gone and there are low levels of carotenoids and anthocyanins. However painters know that they cannot get pink mixing yellow and red. Even if there are no carotenoids (no yellow), painters also know that they cannot get pink with red alone, you need white.

    I have hundreds of maples, I have visited hundreds of gardens in the 3 continents and, unless I have an unknown to me vision condition, I have not seen true pink in the Fall. To me the pics by Maf and Sam show shades of red. But I readily accept that I may be wrong since others say they see pink.

    Gomero
     
  7. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Nor have I, if you go by the strict definition of the term, but I don't see that "true" pink in the Japanese photo either. (Maybe it shows up better at higher resolution.) If you go for a wider definition of pink, eg. Shades of pink at wikipedia, I have certainly seen shades of amaranth, carmine, cerise and ruby in fall maple colours, but, as you say, not a true pink.

    It might still be technically possible though, for I have seen white, or very close to white, in Japanese maple leaves in autumn on occasion:

    white.jpg
     
  8. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Good points Maf and I fully agree that the picture from Japan has not true pink in it.
    I have seen the sort of whitewashed leaves, as you show, by the end of the summer but I explain that as some kind of sun scorch where all the processes producing pigments have been damaged (I am no botanist, so I do not know if this explanation is true or not, it's just my guess).

    The associated question is how to (technically) explain the true pink seen in the spring on non-variegated cultivars like 'Wilson's Pink Dwarf' or 'Kurenai', are they white variegated with some red pigment added to it?

    Gomero
     
  9. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    (Yes possibly some sort of sun bleaching on that picture, but I just wanted to show white colouration on a fall leaf, whatever the cause.)

    I don't grow either of those cultivars, so cannot say about them directly, but many of the Corallinum group, which often look dark pink in the spring (at least to me), show a minute speckling of white dots when they change to green in the summer. Similarly 'Beni tsukasa' which can be a lighter pink has more noticeable speckling. Maybe if the dots of white or cream are small enough they cannot be seen with the naked eye?

    Talking of the Corallinum group, sometimes I see fall colours on them which are very similar to the spring colours, which as I mentioned above, look dark pink to me. Or perhaps light red, or dark rose.... or amaranth..... or......
     
  10. cafernan

    cafernan Active Member

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    I think the answer is, there is not pink but shades of red and blue because the physiology of leaves senescence that we see as pink, plus the environmental light.
     

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