4. World maples .......................................................... Japanese

... Most maples are distributed in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. Besides Japan, I will show the next 3 regions, such as North America, Europe & West Asia and China & South East Asia.

quoted from "Engei-shokubutsu-Daijiten"
by Shimizu & Murata
published by Shohgakukan

quoted from "Sekai-Yuyo-shokubutsu-Jiten
by Ogata, published by Heibonsha

... At present, original species that are endemic to a region, such as sugar maples or red maples in North America, are cultivated even in various places in the world, and we can see the foreign species of maples in botanical gardens. The photo below shows the leaves of Norway maple, Great maple (Sycamore maple), Field maple (Hedge maple), Box-elder, Red maple, Sugar maple, and Silver maple from left to right (from my garden).

Maples of North America

"Sugar maple" is famous for extraction of maple sap, to make syrup, as its name shows. Let me describe syrup at the item later. Maples generally contain a amount of sugar. The sugar maple is one of those contains much sugar. It is also well known as the national flag of Canada. It is the best-known maple in the world, and it is distributed in the north eastern part of North America.

"Red maple" very much similar to Japanese Hananoki (Acer pycnanthum), is as well-known as the sugar maple for its brilliant autumn colors. "Silver maple", whose leaves are bluish white or silvery white beneath, has variations which are used for landscape gardening and from which we also get sugar.

"The box elder" is also used for gardening. It's a species easy for us to enjoy cutting, and it grows rapidly. My trees, which I planted at my farm about 3 or 4 years ago, from seedlings, are already up to 4-5 m tall. We can see the variations in the shape of the leaves, judging from which the box elder doesn't seem to be a maple to me. Besides these mentioned above, those are well-known maples, such as Vine maple, Oregon maple, Striped maple (Moosewood) , Mountain maple etc.

Maples of Europe & West Asia

"Norway maple", "Great maple (Sycamore maple)" and "Field maple" are well-known. I have their young trees from seedlings. "Norway maples" are widely cultivated, and its many cultivars are popular for landscape gardening. "Great maples" whose leaves are like sycamore in shape are also used for garden trees and park trees. They are well-known as windbreaks in England. "Field maples" are not so large, and are used for hedges, and are sometimes called "hedge maple."

Besides those mentioned above, these are also well-known, such as Lobel maple, Italian maple and Montpellier maple around the Mediterranean/South Europe, moreover Balkan maple, Velvet maple, Cappadocian maple and Tatarian maple on the East Europe/West Asia.

Maples of China & S.E.Asia

Above all, "Trident maple" seem to be best-known as roadside trees and Bonsai, and can be frequently seen with its cultivars in Japan. It is known that there are many kinds of maples on mainland China, Taiwan, and Korea. Above all, in the south-western part of China and South-East Asia, there are many kinds of maples whose leaves are ever-green and are not split like those of the trees in the laurel forest, such as oaks and pasanias. I tried to make a list using Chinese dictionary and Chinese map this time.

Chinese maples are shown in detail on the following documents.

One maple in the Southern Hemisphere

According to "Maples of the World", we can find two species of maples from tropical region, which are as evergreen as Acer oblongum from Japan and Southeastern Asia. (I hear there is also a viewpoint that regards two species as one species.)

On the islands of Java (Indonesia) and Sumatra and small Sunda Islands, there inhabit Acer laurinum Hasskari that is an only species in the Southern Hemisphere. You can see the comments and photos on the Acer laurinum at the top page.

Lists of " Maples of North America", " Maples of Europe" and " Maples of China" can be seen from the top page.