Acer griseum (north-west China, Tibet)
Habit: An attractive large shrub or picturesque small tree, 5-8 m, sometimes up to 12 m tall, hardly more 5 m wide, usually with several stems; when only on stem, the stem is very short; broad crown or funnel; loose, open crown casts light shade ; very slow-growing, 10-20 cm a year, around 3 m tall in 15 years .
Flowers: Soft yellow, in panicles in May after leaves shoot.
Fruits: Winged nuts.
Leaves: Shoots usually bronze, dark green in summer; bluish underneath; in threes, elliptical, somewhat toothed; splendid autumn colours, October to November, bright scarlet, orange or yellow.
Stem: The bark peels off in papery strips in summer but stays on stem and branches; the bark scales turn a spectacular cinnamon to mahogany, very conspicuous and decorative, especially in winter.
Roots: Shallow to cordate roots, sensitive to massive intervention.
Demands: Sun to semi-shade; warm to cool, frost hardy; likes high humidity, avoid hot and dry areas; wind resistant, sensitive to air and soil pollution.
Soil: Fresh to moist, well drained, sandy-loamy substrates, soil pH preferred acidic to neutral, but also slightly alkaline.
Our tip: Does not take to any cutting.
Hardiness: Zone 6b