13 responses to “Acer circinatum”

  1. Patricia

    You are making me see some sense in this subject. Thank you

  2. melliug

    some of these days… Beautifull

  3. matt

    Thanks for the explanation about leaf pigmentation in vine maples- I have always puzzled about that. It also makes sense that vine maple should show this trait very dramatically, being able to grow in such a wide range of light conditions- from deep shade to bright sunlight. One thing still puzzles me. The article you quote states “synthesis of bright red colouration” is “initiated by longer nights prior to leaf abscission.” However, I have noticed vine maples on exposed sites turning red even in the middle of July, when the nights are still short. Could this also be a protective reaction to the bright sunlight?

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Matt, I suspect that the early colouration might have something to do with drought stress. Check out this article on “Stealing Rain from the Rainforest” from NASA’s Earth Observatory – to jump right in, see page 5: “…anthocyanin pigments in the drought plot were 60 percent higher than the control plot at the end of the rainy season in July…”.
    The above popularly-written article is derived in part from “Drought stress and carbon uptake in an Amazon forest measured with spaceborne imaging spectroscopy” (Asner et al., 2004. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 101(16):6039-6044).

  5. Anthony

    Thanks for the explanation of the effect of sunlight on color change. It seems to be similar to that on tropical plants such as hoya that turn red in bright sunlight, an effect welcomed by horticulturists. Makes sense when I think about it, but far from the folk-botany my grandfather taught me.

  6. Matt

    Thanks, Daniel. I’ll check out the article.

  7. Daniel Mosquin
  8. reece

    Wow thanks for the info i got an A+ on my website thanks to you.

  9. Daniel Mosquin

    The following was received via email from Chris:

    “I have a question. Are these wonderful leaf colors preservable in any way? I am hoping there’s a way to stop the chemical changes and keep those pigments. Most of the advice I get has to do with ironing them between sheets of waxed paper (maybe heat helps destroy enzymes, and cutting off air reduces oxidation of the color chemicals?) and soaking in a hot solution of glycerin and water (no clue, but maybe heat again). I haven’t tried these (I don’t own an iron!). Do the pigments get destroyed by ultraviolet? Heat? Gases? Etc. I think it would be interesting to understand the chemistry of the coloration right now, when half the country is seeing these colors.”

  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Chris, I’ll have to quote directly from an out-of-print book entitled Leaves written by Sir Ghillean Prance:

    People often comment that they would like to preserve the fall colors of leaves…There are various methods to preserve leaves; different ways work better for different plants.

    Try placing a freshly cut fall branch indoors somewhere cool such as the basement and just allowing it to dry out. This method works well for oaks and beeches. If it does not work, split the stem of a branch and place it in a jar with a solution of water (one part) and glycerin (four parts) for two weeks.

    Individual leaves are often easily preserved by coating them with paraffin wax. Wax is melted in a pan and the leaves are dipped. Care should be taken to produce only a thin coating of wax so as to avoid obscuring the color of the leaf. One of the best modern methods is by embedding them in plastic…

    One of the best ways to preserve fall color, which works for some of the hardest-to-preserve species, involves the use of sand. Prepare a wooden box and cover the bottom with sand to the size of the branch you wish to preserve. Next suspend the branch inside the box, laid on top of the sand, and support it with wire or sticks. Heat up a pan of sand until it is almost too hot to touch and then pour this carefully over the branch until it is covered. The warm sand will dry out and the leaves will be nicely pressed. Take care to arrange the leaves in the desired positions as the sand is poured gradually into the box.

  11. Alison Mah

    leeves r sew kewl.

  12. Alex Jablanczy

    Whatever the problems of botanists with taxonomy
    clearly they are brighter than the moronic astronomers who demoted Pluto. With their thought processes a hummingbird is an insect and a giant fossil dragonfly a bird merely because of size. Ditto for giant Australian earthworm which must be a snake. A biologist’s kid was once flunked because he called bamboo a grass when the teach said it’s a woody tree.
    Evolution trumps size.
    Flores man if he is real is a hominid like us.

  13. Singe

    Nice! Sorry to necropost but I didn’t see this photo until recently. I did a (admittedly much inferior) similar photo with specimens from my parents’ japanese maple back in 2002. I put up the URL to it in case you’re curious. Anyway, my parents’ maple died a few years ago and I’ve been thinking of giving them a new tree to replace it but couldn’t think of a good example until today when I thought a vine maple might be nice because it’s native and my father loves native plants and it has growing habits resembling japanese maples. A google search on vine maples is actually what led me here. 😀

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