20. Acer palmatum Thunberg in Murray, Syst. Veg., ed. 14. 911. 1784.
鸡爪枫 ji zhua feng
Trees deciduous, andromonoecious, to 15 m tall. Bark greenish gray or light brown, smooth. Branchlets grayish green, glabrous; winter buds purplish red, conical, small, with 5 pairs of scales, ciliate, terminal buds usually absent. Petiole 2-6 cm; leaf blade suborbicular, 3-6 × 4-8 cm, membranous to papery, yellowish brown pubescent when unfolding, soon glabrous except for axillary tuft of hairs on abaxial surface, base cordate to subtruncate, palmately 5- or 7-lobed to middle; lobes lanceolate, margin irregularly doubly serrate, apex long acuminate. Inflorescence corymbose-paniculate, 10-20-flowered, 3-4 cm, half-pendulous, subtended by 1 or 2 pairs of leaves. Flowers opening with leaves. Sepals 5, purplish red, oblong to oblanceolate, ca. 3 mm, pubescent near margin. Petals pale yellow to pinkish white, broadly obovate, smaller than sepals, glabrous. Stamens 8, exserted, ca. 3.5 mm, shorter in pistillate flowers, inserted at inside of disk. Ovary glabrous; style long, topped by divergent stigmas. Abortive pistil in staminate flowers minute. Samaras ca. 1.5 cm with wing, glabrous; wings spreading at obtuse angle; nutlets elliptic-convex, only slightly veined with thin, weak wall. Fl. Apr-May, fr. Sep. 2n = 26.
Widely cultivated in gardens in China [native to Japan and S Korea].
This species is a famous small ornamental tree with many cultivars.