Acer maximowiczii Pax

Maximowiciz's Snakebark maple

Family: Sapindaceae

Another example of the excellent maple collection in Belfast Botanic Gardens, this lovely, rare, small maple was first collected by Ernest Wilson in 1910 in Central China where it grows in mixed forest from 1800 to 2500m. It is a slow growing small tree with three- or five-lobed leaves. The bark is attractively striped and the leaves turn spectacular red and purple shades in autumn. The specimen in the Belfast Botanic Gardens grows in the grass lawn near the main path stretching from the Botanic School gate to the Botanic Avenue gate (close to the fern-leaved beech tree). This maple is frequently confused (particularly in web articles and trade lists) with Acer maximowiczianum (Nikko maple). The latter maple has a compound leaf with three separate leaflets quite unlike the lobed leaves of A. maximowiczii. Another maple with three leaflets, A. triflorum, grows near the Acer maximowiczii in Belfast Botanic Gardens.

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009 and 2010. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens