Acer sinense Pax

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Dan Crowley (2020)

Recommended citation
Crowley, D. (2020), 'Acer sinense' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2020-09-18.


  • Acer
  • Section Palmata, Ser. Sinensia


  • Acer campbellii J. D. Hooker & Thomson ex Hiern subsp. sinense (Pax) P. C. de Jong


Other species in genus


Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
Appearing as if cut off.


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Dan Crowley (2020)

Recommended citation
Crowley, D. (2020), 'Acer sinense' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2020-09-18.

A deciduous tree usually to 5 m. Bark green when young, turning grey to brown with age, smooth. Branchlets glabrous, purplish red or greenish, turning darker. Buds, ovoid, with six pairs of scales. Leaves chartaceous to subcoriaceous, broadly pentagonal in outline, base cordate to truncate, five (-seven) lobed, 9–14 × 9–15 cm, lobes ovate, apically acuminate, margins remotely serrate, sometimes entire ner base, upper surface mid green, lower surface paler, glabrous except for tufts in vein axils; petiole 3–5 cm long, stout, red to green, glabrous; autumn colours yellow to purple. Inflorescence, terminal, pendulous, paniculate, to seven cm, many flowered. Flowers 5-merous, pedicels short, slender, sepals oblong or nearly so, ciliate margined, petals oblong to obovate, stamens five to eight, inserted in the middle of the slightly pubescent, thick nectar disc, ovary pilose. Samaras 2 to 3.5 cm long, wings spreading variously. Nutlets ovoid. Flowering May, with unfolding leaves, fruiting in September (Xu et al. 2008).

Distribution  China Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan

Habitat Forests and valleys between 500 and 2500 m.

USDA Hardiness Zone 7-8

RHS Hardiness Rating H3

Conservation status Least concern (LC)

A deciduous tree from 12 to 30 ft high; young shoots glabrous. Leaves 3 to 6 in. long and wide, five-lobed, slightly heart-shaped or truncate at the base, rather glaucous beneath; lobes ovate, with long drawn-out points, irregularly and sparsely toothed. Occasionally the leaves are quite glabrous at maturity, but often they have tufts of yellowish hairs in the axils of the veins. Flowers numerous, in panicles 2 to 4 in. long, greenish white. Fruits glabrous, in pendulous panicles; keys 114 in. long; wings 25 in. wide, the pair forming an angle of about 120°.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

This species is now again in cultivation in Britain, introduced from China by Gordon Harris. It is closely related to the later-named A. wilsonii and also to the Himalayan A. campbellii.

var. concolor Pax

This differs in the wings of the fruit spreading horizontally, and in the leaf being somewhat larger and green beneath.Native of Central China, and at one time represented in the Coombe Wood nursery by plants of the variety concolor, raised from seed introduced in 1901, by Wilson. The leaves are handsome, being of a reddish shade when young, afterwards turning a dark lustrous green. The true species is rare in cultivation and no longer grown at Kew.


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