Forest 73 - Taiwanese Trident Maple, Trident Maple


Two subspecies of Acer buergerianum

Acer buergerianum variety formosanum    Taiwanese Trident Maple

Flower of Acer buergerianum var formosanum. Photo not from the Arboretum, by JC Yang 

Other common names

Chinese: tai wan san jiao feng.

Origin of the species name

Aceris from Latin and means sharp and refers to the tips of the leaves; formosanum is a variety name that refers to the island of Formosa, now Taiwan.

Family

Sapindaceae

Date planted

August 2009

Lifespan

Trees of this species are long lived.

Young Acer buergerianum var formosanum in Forest 73

General description

This is a small to medium, rounded deciduoustree with rough bark, leathery leaves and attractive autumn foliage. The yellow-green flowers are produced in spring but are fairly inconspicuous. The fruit are winged nuts typical on maples. Height 10m Spread 8m.

Natural distribution and habitat  

This variety only occurs in two small populations in the north of the island of Taiwan where it grows in lowland evergreen forests.

Conservation status

It is classified as an endangered species that is mainly threatened by the uprooting of whole plants for ornamental use.

Planting pattern

This rare species is planted in four rows of eight trees next to River Road surrounded by the variety buergerianum host forest.

Uses

This variety is well suited to bonsai and popular for ornamental use.

Further reading

Gibbs, D and Y. Chen (2009) The Red List of Maples. Botanic Gardens Conservation International.

HOST FOREST    Acer buergerianum variety buergerianum    Trident Maple

Acer buergerianum va buergerianum leaves and seed pods in Forest 73. Photo by A Burgess 

Other common names

Chinese: San jiao feng = three horn maple.

Origin of the species name

Aceris from Latin and means sharp and refers to the tips of the leaves; buergerianum refers to Heinrich Bürger, the German botanist it was named after.

Family

Sapindaceae

Date planted

August  2009

Lifespan

Mature trees become less productive as they age but can live for 100 years.

Acer buergerianum var. buergerianum trees in Forest 73 in autumn. Photo by A Burgess 

General description 

This is a small to medium sized rounded deciduoustree with rough bark and attractive autumn foliage. The yellow-green flowers are produced in spring but are fairly inconspicuous. The fruits are winged nuts typical on maples. Height 10m Spread 8m.

Natural distribution and habitat

This variety of the species is native to eastern China where it grows in deciduous forests from sea level to 1500m.

Conservation status

Not classified as threatened.

Planting pattern

Planted in long lines that converge and then spread, surrounding the rare Acer buergerianum variety formosanum.

Uses

It is a popular choice for bonsai and is also used as a street tree.

Further reading

Gibbs, D and Y. Chen (2009) The Red List of Maples. Botanic Gardens Conservation International.