Before getting to today’s entry, I wanted to communicate that I have not been able to keep up with many emails with photographs for or questions about BPotD recently (so, my apologies). The late March / early April vacation was in part a scouting expedition for a field trip that I’m helping lead, so I’m off again to southwestern Oregon and northwestern California as of tomorrow (I wonder if any BPotD readers would be interested in field trips next year?). I’ll try my best to keep up with BPotD while away, but no promises, as the days will be long.
Eric La Fountaine noticed my busy-ness today, and he provided both today’s photograph and write-up (thank you very much, Eric). Eric writes:
I saw these young trees outside the window of our office building at UBCBG, still in their pots waiting to be planted. The rains had weighted them down turning over the leaves to reveal the lovely reddish glow highlighted by glistening water droplets. The star-shaped leaves are those of Acer serrulatum, closely related to Acer oliverianum and often listed as Acer oliverianum subsp. formosanum. The Flora of China gives it species status, based primarily on more abundant flowers and different flavonoid patterns.
Acer serrulatum is endemic to Taiwan, where it is common in forests between 1000 and 2000 metres elevation. It is the largest maple native to Taiwan, growing to 20 metres. The species is rare in cultivation, perhaps because it lacks hardiness. The species may be a good replacement for Acer palmatum and Acer japonicum in warm climates. Fall colour of the five-lobed leaves at UBCBG has been disappointing, but is described as variable. Plants here are grown in the understorey to protect them from potential frost and the heavy shade may limit fall colouration.