2. Botanical character of maples ......................................... Japanese
... A maple is a plant which is a member of the maple family, the maple genus, and is represented throughout the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. The book "Maples of the World", carries about 200 species. They are deciduous broad-leaved trees (but rarely ever-green) or shrubs, and the number of species of maples is said to be the largest among those composed of the deciduous broad-leaved trees.
They have the following characteristics.
... The leaf arrangement of the genus is always opposite, and the twigs and branches repeat the opposite arrangement of the leaves. The typical maple leaf is palmately lobed.
But you can also see some maples which have no lobes at all, as follows:
Besides, you can see a group whose leaf is trifoliolate with 3 leaflets, as follows:
Next, let me show you maple seeds, as follows:
The shape of the fruits consists of 2 one-seeded samara (winged fruits).
... As the picture above shows, the forms of the seed differ by species, as do the sizes, the shapes and the angle between the 2 wings. Here you can see the angles of different types. The measure can be seen, graduated 1cm per number. In this picture No.2, Norway maple's, is about 5 cm long. The smallest one, Japanese maple's is1.5 cm long, and the middle size at the center part, No.5 Nikko maple (Acer nikoense, Megusurinoki), is about 3.5 cm long.
... Every seed seperated from one-seeded samara falls down with rotating like the propeller of Bamboo dragonfly without a shaft. I tried a little experiment on 5 species of maples, but couldn't find a rule related to the direction of rotation, but found the rotation speed and falling speed differs by the form of species.
... As mentioned above, the characteristics of maples include opposite leaves and a pair of winged fruits.