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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 11 | Aceraceae

2. Acer Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1054. 1753.

枫属 feng shu

Trees or shrubs. Leaves mostly simple and palmately lobed or at least palmately veined, in a few species pinnately veined and entire or toothed, or pinnately or palmately 3-5-foliolate. Inflorescence corymbiform or umbelliform, sometimes racemose or large paniculate. Sepals (4 or)5, rarely 6. Petals (4 or)5, rarely 6, seldom absent. Stamens (4 or 5 or)8(or 10 or 12); filaments distinct. Carpels 2; ovules (1 or)2 per locule. Fruit a winged schizocarp, commonly a double samara, usually 1-seeded; embryo oily or starchy, radicle elongate, cotyledons 2, green, flat or plicate; endosperm absent. 2n = 26.

About 129 species: widespread in both temperate and tropical regions of N Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central and North America; 99 species (61 endemic, three introduced) in China.

Acer lanceolatum Molliard (Bull. Soc. Bot. France 50: 134. 1903), described from Guangxi, is an uncertain species and is therefore not accepted here. The type specimen, in Berlin (B), has been destroyed. Up to now, no additional specimens have been found that could help clarify the application of this name.

Worldwide, Japanese maples are famous for their autumn color, and there are over 400 cultivars. Also, many Chinese maple trees have beautiful autumn colors and have been cultivated widely in Chinese gardens, such as Acer buergerianum, A. davidii, A. duplicatoserratum, A. griseum, A. pictum, A. tataricum subsp. ginnala, A. triflorum, A. truncatum, and A. wilsonii. In winter, the snake-bark maples (A. davidii and its relatives) and paper-bark maple (A. griseum) are eye-catching. Maple wood is used for furniture, interior beams in buildings, and wooden tools. The young leaves of A. tataricum subsp. ginnala can be used as a substitute for tea.

1 Leaves compound   (2)
+ Leaves simple   (4)
2 (1) Leaves palmatifoliolate, 5(-9) leaflets.   12 A. sect. Pentaphylla
+ Leaves trifoliolate or pinnate   (3)
3 (2) Bud scales 10-15-paired; leaves trifoliolate; inflorescence corymbose, terminal and axillary; stamens 10-13; androdioecious.   13 A. sect. Trifoliata
+ Bud scales 2-4-paired; leaves pinnate or trifoliolate; inflorescence racemose, axillary from leafless buds; dioecious.   14 A. sect. Negundo
4 (1) Infructescence lateral from leafless buds   (5)
+ Infructescence terminal, or terminal and lateral, with leaves at base   (6)
5 (4) Leaves entire, leathery, evergreen; inflorescence cymose-paniculate; stamens 4-12; nutlets slightly flat.   10 A. sect. Hyptiocarpa
+ Leaves lobed, papery, deciduous; inflorescence racemose; stamens 8; nutlets strongly convex.   11 A. sect. Lithocarpa
6 (4) Inflorescence spicate-paniculate.   9 A. sect. Spicata
+ Inflorescence corymbose, racemose, or paniculate   (7)
7 (6) Leaf margin usually not serrate; petiole with white latex; nutlets usually flat.   1 A. sect. Platanoidea
+ Leaf margin usually serrate; petiole without white latex; nutlets usually convex   (8)
8 (7) Shoots striped; bud scales 2-paired   (9)
+ Shoots not striped; bud scales 4- or more paired   (10)
9 (8) Axillary buds stalked; flowers 5-merous, bisexual (plants monoecious); nutlets slightly veined.   5 A. sect. Macrantha
+ Axillary buds not stalked; flowers 4-merous, unisexual (plants dioecious); nutlets strongly convex and distinctly veined.   6 A. sect. Arguta
10 (8) Buds scales always 4-paired, terminal buds usually absent.   2 A. sect. Palmata
+ Buds scales 5- or more paired   (11)
11 (10) Leaf margin entire.   3 A. sect. Oblonga
+ Leaf margin coarsely serrate or biserrate   (12)
12 (11) Stamens 5; disk amphistaminal; nutlets flat.   4 A. sect. Pubescentia
+ Stamens 8; disk extrastaminal; nutlets convex   (13)
13 (12) Leaves 3- or 5-lobed, leaf margin coarsely serrate, blade usually broader than long; nutlets strongly convex; winter buds large, scales 10-14.   7 A. sect. Acer
+ Leaves slightly 3- or 5-lobed or unlobed, leaf margin serrate or biserrate, blade oblong; nutlets slightly convex; winter buds small, scales 8-10.   8 A. sect. Ginnala

  • List of lower taxa


    Related Objects  
  • LI, J.H. et al. 2006. Phylogenetics of Acer (Aceroideae, Sapindaceae) based on nucleotide sequences
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