|A. davidii subsp. davidii|
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It is a small deciduous tree growing to 10–15 m tall with a trunk up to 40 cm diameter, though usually smaller and often with multiple trunks, and a spreading crown of long, arching branches. The bark is smooth, olive-green with regular narrow pale vertical stripes on young trees, eventually becoming dull grey-brown at the base of old trees. The leaves are 6–18 cm long and 4–9 cm broad, with a petiole 3–6 cm long; they are dark green above, paler below, ovate, unlobed or weakly three-lobed, with a serrated margin. They turn to bright yellow, orange or red in the autumn. The flowers are small, yellow, with five sepals and petals about 4 mm long; they are produced on arching to pendulous 7–12 cm racemes in late spring, with male and female flowers on different racemes. The samara nutlets are 7–10 mm long and 4–6 mm broad, with a wing 2–3 cm long and 5 mm broad.
Subspecies and cultivars
- Acer davidii subsp. davidii. Père David's Maple. Bark greenish-brown with white stripes. Shoots pinkish-green. Leaf petiole pink to red; leaf margin usually single-serrate with variably-sized serrations.
- Acer davidii subsp. grosseri (Pax) de Jong. Hers's Maple (Acer grosseri Pax; syn. Acer hersii Rehd.). Bark green with white to pale green stripes. Shoots green. Leaf petiole green; leaf margin more often three-lobed and double-serrate.
Among the cultivars of A. davidii are:-
- 'Canton' (a Dutch cultivar with a purplish hue to its green stripes)
- 'George Forrest' (a Scottish cultivar with large leaves and dark red young shoots - this cultivar has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit)
- 'Ernest Wilson' (a specimen of which may be viewed in the Westonbirt Arboretum in England)
- 'Serpentine' (a cultivar with distinctively small, narrow leaves)
In some cases, these cultivars cannot be assigned to one subspecies or the other but are simply considered cultivars of A. davidii.
- Flora of China (draft): Aceraceae
- Stefan Drew. "Latin plant names make it abundantly clear". www.stefandrew.com. Retrieved 19 October 2008.[dead link]
- Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
- van Gelderen, C. J. & van Gelderen, D. M. (1999). Maples for Gardens: A Color Encyclopedia.
- Mitchell, A. F. (1974). A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-212035-6
- RHS Plant Selector Acer grosseri var. hersii AGM / RHS Gardening
- "RHS Plant Selector - Acer davidii 'George Forrest'". Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- RHS Plant Selector Acer davidii 'Serpentine' AGM / RHS Gardening