Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

January 18, 2017: Botany Photo of the Day is being actively worked on. Returning soon!

Acer palmatum var. dissectum

Acer palmatum var. dissectum
Acer palmatum var. dissectum

Art resource link: Aesthetic Arrest, an article from painter Robert Genn of The Painter's Keys on artworks that create moments when an “innocent viewer is stopped dead in his tracks and has no choice but to stare in awe.

I'm not certain what the term might be for the similar moments when plants evoke the same feeling of awe. Botanic arrest? Or, perhaps, aesthetic arrest can also be applied to plants. Whatever term is used, today's photograph is a mere shadow of what it was that made me stop and stare. The element that is missing is motion; in a breeze, laceleaf maple flows like a waterfall or a flock of small birds in flight. It is certainly deserving of a Freeman Patterson approach in the future.


I agree, birds in flight is a good way to describe this catagory of Acer.

What is in the foreground? plumbago? Er what?

Acer palmatum - Z5 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
Acer palmatum - Z6-8 - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk

Surely it isn't a botanical variety? Wouldn't it be better called Acer palmatum Dissectum Group?

I'd considered that, but I'm tentatively following what the RHS has determined until I can talk it over with Douglas Justice when he returns from vacation next week.

Heather, the small plant with blue flowers in front of the Acer is Rhododendron impeditum, from China.

Vertrees/Gregory, JAPANESE MAPLES (Timber Press) uses forma instead of var. If the specimen shown belongs to a named clonal cultivar or cultivar group (consisting of multiple clones), such as Dissectum Viridis (Viride) Group that should be added--unless you don't like the Group approach, in which case 'Dissectum Viridis'.

Rhododendron fastigiatum impeditum ~ a blue rhododendron? Fascinating, and lovely!

Oops, sorry Susan. Just Rhododendron impeditum. I tried to use strikethrough to blank out fastigiatum, but apparently it didn't work, so I've just now removed the word fastigiatum.

So Rhododendron impeditum hort. is back to being considered correctly identified (as R. impeditum)? At one point it had been pointed out that it was really a form of R. fastigiatum, which would be why I would think you said that is what it was in the first place. Or is this accession not R. impeditum hort.?

I'll have a look at it when I'm out photographing today.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.3928
Fax: 604.822.2016 Email:

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia