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A deciduous shrub of bushy habit, or a small, wide-spreading tree up to 30 ft high; branchlets glabrous. Leaves in adult trees not lobed, or occasionally slightly so; broadly ovate, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, from 2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. wide; glabrous above, more or less downy on the veins beneath, the margin doubly and irregularly toothed. Flowers in erect panicles 2 to 3 in. long, greenish white, produced in May and June. Fruit with keys 3⁄4 to more than 1 in. long; the wings 1⁄4 in. wide, almost parallel, red in autumn.
Native of S.E. Europe, Asia Minor, etc.; introduced, according to Aiton, in 1759. This interesting maple is very distinct in foliage, the shape of the leaves suggesting Holodiscus discolor rather than the typical maple. This, however, applies to the plant in its adult state; young, vigorous trees show a distinct tendency to the palmate three- or five-lobed shape. It bears its fruits quite abundantly, and, being red in autumn, they often give a pleasing effect. The leaves expand early, and die off in yellow, or reddish-brown tints. Early this century there was a tree at Arley Castle, near Bewdley, 30 ft high, planted in 1820.