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A small, deciduous tree up to 25 ft in height; branchlets glabrous, often tinged with purple when young. Leaves five-occasionally seven-lobed, 21⁄2 to 41⁄2 in. wide, less in length, dark green above, paler below; glabrous on both surfaces; truncate or somewhat heart-shaped at the base; the lobes triangular; the two basal ones out-spreading, the three terminal ones often furnished with two large teeth; leaf-stalk containing milky juice. Flowers 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. across, greenish yellow, each on a slender stalk 1⁄2 in. long, borne in erect, branching corymbs 3 in. wide. Fruits glabrous; wings 11⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. wide, about half as long again as the nutlet, the pair forming an angle of about 90°.
Native of N. China, whence seed collected in the autumn of 1881 were sent by Dr Bretschneider to Kew, and germinated in the spring of the following year. It is allied to A. mono, but differs in the truncate base of the leaf, and in the larger flowers. It grows well and is quite hardy at Kew. In the maple collection at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire, it is 40 × 3 ft (1966).
specimens: Kew, pl. 1935, 35 × 33⁄4 ft (1981); Borde Hill, Sussex, 38 × 31⁄2 ft (1977); Talbot Manor, Norfolk, pl. 1948, 28 × 3 ft (1978); Thorp Perrow, Bedale, Yorks., 46 × 23⁄4 ft (1981); Bodnant, Gwyn., 40 × 41⁄4 ft (1981); Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire, 52 × 5 ft (1985).
† cv. ‘Akikaze Nishiki’ (‘Shuhu Nishiki’). – Leaves rich green, marked with white, some wholly white, some merely stippled with it (Vertrees, op. cit., p. 160). It is grown in the Mallet Court collection and in the Hillier Arboretum.