COMMON NAME

Amur maple


FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME

Acer ginnala Maxim.


FAMILY NAME COMMON

Maple family


FAMILY SCIENTIFIC NAME

Acer ginnala


IMAGES


Habit

Close-up of leaf

Leaf with inflorescence

Dried fruits on branch

Fruit and leaves

Flowers close-up

NOMENCLATURE/SYNONYMS

Synonyms: Acer tataricum L. subsp. ginnala (Maxim.) Wesm.


DESCRIPTION

Botanical Glossary

Acer ginnala is a small tree that grows 4.5-6 m (15-20 ft.) in height. The bark of the tree is smooth and gray. The leaves are opposite and 2.5-7.5 cm (1-3 in.) long. They are 3-lobed, with the terminal lobe elongated. The margins of the leaves are doubly serrate. This plant leafs out early in the spring. The fall color of the leaves is usually red, but some are bright yellow. The yellow-white flowers appear from May-June, after the tree has leafed out, and are borne in long-peduncled panicles. These flowers, unlike those of most maples, are fragrant. The reddish fruit, which hang on the tree until late fall, have nearly parallel wings and are 2-2.5 cm (0.75-1 in.) long. Page References: Bailey 637, Fernald 986, Magee & Ahles 721, Seymour 379. See reference section below for full citations.


SIMILAR SPECIES

Acer rubrum L. (red maple). Picture of Acer rubrum Both Acer ginnala and A. rubrum have doubly serrate leaf margins, but the terminal lobes in A. ginnala leaves tend to be more elongated. The undersurface of A. ginnala leaves is light green, while that of A. rubrum leaves tends to be a much paler light color. The flowers of A. ginnala are yellow-white and fragrant, whereas those of A. rubrum are reddish and not fragrant. The winged samaras of A. ginnala are nearly parallel and persist on the tree into late fall, while those of A. rubrum have a more open angle and do not tend to persist.


REPRODUCTIVE/DISPERSAL MECHANISMS

The seeds of Acer ginnala are dispersed primarily by wind with the help of winged samaras.


DISTRIBUTION

Acer ginnala is native to Manchuria, northern China and Japan. In the United States it is found in the midwestern, mid-Atlantic and northeastern states. It is found in all the states of New England.


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION IN NEW ENGLAND

Acer ginnala was introduced to North America in 1860 (Bailey 1949). Robinson did not note its presence in New England; however, Fernald (1950) reported it as being locally established from Maine to Connecticut and western New York. The degree of its naturalization, as opposed to its horticultural presence, has not been fully examined.


HABITATS IN NEW ENGLAND

,Early Successional Forest,Edge,Open Disturbed Area,Roadside,Yard or Garden

Acer ginnala has a wide tolerance for different soil qualities and pH values. It grows best in moist, well-drained soils. It is sporadically present in New England, mostly along edges, in disturbed habitats and within forest fragments.


THREATS

Acer ginnala's small size, fragrant flowers and attractive fall foliage (particularly when grown in full sun) make it desirable as an ornamental tree. It also tolerates pruning well and has been used as a hedge tree. For these reasons, it continues to be sold and planted. As a result, it may continue to spread from cultivation into a variety of habitats. It is more shade tolerant than most maples, giving it the potential for spreading into intact forests.


DOCUMENTATION NEEDS

Documentation required: A specific photograph or mounted snippet of the inflorescence or fruits and leaves.
Best time for documentation: Summer.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Taxonomic information about the species

The PLANTS database
General information and map

University of Connecticut Plant Database
General information and many photographs

Virginia Tech Dendrology
Description and photographs

Oregon State University
Links to photographs and descriptive information

University of Delaware
A photograph and basic description


REFERENCES

Bailey, L.H. 1949. Manual of Cultivated Plants. Macmillan, New York.

Ebinger, J.E. 1996. Acer ginnala. p.25. In Randall, J.M. and J. Marinelli. [eds.].  Invasive Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Inc., New York.  

Fernald, M.L.  1950.  Gray's Manual of Botany 8th ed.  American Book Co., Boston.

Magee, D.W and H.E. Ahles. 1999.  Flora of the Northeast. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.

Robinson, B.J.  1908.  Gray's Manual of Botany 7th ed. American Book Co., New York, NY.

Seymour, F.C. 1969. The Flora of New England. Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc., Tokyo, Japan.

USDA, NRCS.  2001.  The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1. (http://plants.usda.gov).  National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.