5 responses to “Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’”

  1. Beverley

    Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ – Z5 – RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
    Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ – Z5-7 – A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk
    Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ – ‘does best in a moist, well-drained position sheltered from cold winds.’ – Hillier Manual of Trees & Shrubs, 2003

  2. Douglas Justice

    If I am correctly interpreting the currently accepted nomenclature of cultivated plants, then this plant is a good candidate for a group designation, rather than a cultivar name; i.e., Acer japonicum Aconitifolium Group. The reason for this is relatively simple: seedlings derived from seed that this tree produces will closely resemble it (the parent). In some cases, the offspring will be indistinguishable. As such seedlings are common in horticulture, it is virtually impossible to know whether a plant is indeed a cultivar or a look-alike seedling. Indeed, even the vegetatively propagated specimens under the name ‘Aconitifolium’ could easily have been derived from seedlings themselves.

    This phenomenon is relatively common in a number of horticulturally important plant groups, particularly among those species that are self-fertile. Purple leaves and dissected leaves are common traits that are passed on to offspring in Acer palmatum, for example. An isolated A. palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ will produce seed that is fertile and its seedlings will be purple. Three or four generations later, the seedlings may be slightly less purple than ‘Bloodgood’, but a good many nurseries, as well as amateur growers, think they still have ‘Bloodgood’ on their hands. Hmmm.

    A cultivar (a cultivated variety) can be defined as a horticultural race or strain of plant that has originated and persisted under cultivation through clonal (vegetative) propagation or (in seed grown crops, such as commercial vegetables) “inbred lines.” While the cultivar group designation sounds a lot like an inbred line, the crucial difference is that the production of an inbred line is carefully controlled and documented, and the resulting seedlings, strictly predictably uniform.

    Proximity to genetically different individuals of the same species generally results in greater variation in offspring, provided that there are pollinators (and pollen) moving between the individuals, which is essentially what happens in nature. This is known as “outcrossing” and many species will not reliably produce fertile seed without outcrossing. A good example is the paperbark maple, Acer griseum, which was rare in cultivation locally because seed was rare and individual plants nearly always produced parthenocarpic (empty) seed (and the plant is difficult to propagate vegetatively). Fortunately, an enterprising, and botanically astute nurseryman in Oregon (Mark Krautmann of Heritage Seedlings Inc.) planted a block of seedlings for the sole purpose of seed production some 20 years ago. Once his plants started to flower, he found that they produced copious amounts of fertile seed.

  3. Michael F

    [quote]Three or four generations later, the seedlings may be slightly less purple than ‘Bloodgood’, but a good many nurseries, as well as amateur growers, think they still have ‘Bloodgood’ on their hands[/quote]
    They could be given the name Acer palmatum ‘Badblood’?

  4. Ron B

    Likewise other plantings where there is more than one specimen produce paperbark seedlings. Bovees nursery, Portland, Oregon was getting seedlings popping up in their beds along time ago. Some “Bloodgood” I have seen offered here varied from nearly green to pretty good purple, clearly a swarm of seedlings rather than a grafted clone.

  5. magnamater

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if humans were as mysteriously beautiful in the dying process? The color is stupendous. Why is it when a tree is cut down the smell is so marvelous? The maples look like they are full of the fire of life.

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