Acer cappadocicum

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Acer cappadocicum
Acer cappadocicum.jpg
Cappadocian maple leaves
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Sapindaceae[1]
Genus: Acer
Species: A. cappadocicum
Binomial name
Acer cappadocicum
Gled. 1785

Acer cappadocicum (Cappadocian maple) is a maple native to Asia, from central Turkey (ancient Cappadocia) east along the Caucasus, the Himalaya, to southwestern China.[2][3][4][5][6]

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 20-30 m tall with a broad, rounded crown. The leaves are opposite, palmately lobed with 5-7 lobes, 6-15 cm across. The leaf stems bleed a milky latex when broken. The flowers are in corymbs of 15-30 together, yellow-green with five petals 3-4 mm long; flowering occurs in early spring. The fruit is a double samara with two winged seeds, the seeds are disc-shaped, strongly flattened, 6-11 mm across and 2-3 mm thick. The wings are 2.5-3 cm long, widely spread, approaching a 180° angle. The bark is greenish-grey, smooth in young trees, becoming shallowly grooved when mature.[2][3][5][6]

There are three varieties, sometimes treated as subspecies:[4][5]

  • Acer cappadocicum var. cappadocicum. Turkey, Caucasus, northern Iran.
  • Acer cappadocicum var. indicum (Pax) Rehd. (syn. var. cultratum (Wall.) Bean). Himalaya.
  • Acer cappadocicum var. sinicum Rehd. Southwestern China.

The closely related Acer lobelii from southern Italy is also treated as a subspecies of A. cappadocicum by some authors.[5] The eastern Asian species Acer amplum, Acer pictum, and Acer truncatum are also very closely related, and often confused with A. cappadocicum in cultivation.[4]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

A mature specimen in cultivation in England

Cappadocian maple is grown as an ornamental tree in Europe. Many of the trees in cultivation show a strong tendency to produce numerous root sprouts, a character rare in maples.[2][3] The hybrid maple Acer × zoeschense shares this character and probably has Acer cappadocicum as one of its parents.[3]

The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • A. cappadocicum "Aureum" (with yellow leaves)[7]
  • A. cappadocicum "Rubrum" (with red leaves)[8]


  1. ^ Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 9, June 2008 [and more or less continuously updated since].
  2. ^ a b c Mitchell, A. F. (1974). A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-212035-6
  3. ^ a b c d Mitchell, A. F. (1982). The Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-219037-0
  4. ^ a b c Bean, W. J. (1976). Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles 8th ed., vol. 1. John Murray ISBN 0-7195-1790-7.
  5. ^ a b c d Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  6. ^ a b Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
  7. ^ RHS Plant Selector Acer cappadocicum 'Aureum' AGM / RHS Gardening
  8. ^ RHS Plant Selector Acer cappadocicum 'Rubrum' AGM / RHS Gardening