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Acer monspessulanum

Acer monspessulanum (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Sapindales

Familia: Sapindaceae
Subfamilia: Hippocastanoideae
Tribus: Acereae
Genus: Acer
Species: Acer monspessulanum
Subspecies: A. m. subsp. cinerascens – A. m. subsp. ibericum – A. m. subsp. microphyllum – A. m. subsp. monspessulanum – A. m. subsp. oksalianum – A. m. subsp. persicum – A. m. subsp. turcomanicum

Acer monspessulanum L., Sp. Pl.: 1056 (1753).

Acer trifolium Duhamel, Traité Arbr. Arbust.: 1 (1755).
Acer trilobatum Lam., Encycl. 2: 382 (1786).
Acer trilobum Moench, Methodus: 56 (1794).
Acer commutatum C.Presl, in J.S.Presl & C.B.Presl, Delic. Prag.: 31 (1822).
Acer illyricum J.Jacq., Flora 12: 551 (1827).
Acer rectangulum Dulac, Fl. Hautes-Pyrénées: 242 (1867).
Acer heckianum Asch. ex Wesm., Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belgique 29: 51 (1890).
Acer hungaricum Borbás, Természetrajzi Füz. 14: 70 (1891).
Acer denticulatum Dippel, Handb. Laubholzk. 2: 448 (1892).
Acer liburnicum (Pax) Dippel, Handb. Laubholzk. 2: 448 (1892).
Acer monspessulanum var. athoum Bornm. & Sint., Oesterr. Bot. Z. 44: 126 (1894).
Acer talyschense Radde-Fom., Izv. Kievsk. Bot. Sada 12-13: 73 (1931).
Acer monspessulanum subsp. athoum (Bornm. & Sint.) Lippold ex F.K.Mey., Haussknechtia, Beih., 15: 99 (2011).

Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 1056. Reference page.

Additional references

Govaerts, R.H.A. 1995. World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2). 483, 529 pp. MIM, Deurne. ISBN 90-341-0852-X (issue 1) ISBN 90-341-0853-8 (issue 2). Reference page.
Micevski, K. 2005. Flora na Republika Makedonija. The Flora of the Republic of Macedonia Vol I, Book 6. Anacardiaceae – Loranthaceae. Makedonska Akademija na Naukite i Umetnostite / Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje. ISBN 9989-101-46-9 Reference page.
Ciocârlan, V. 2009. Flora Ilustrată a României: Pteridophyta et Spermatophyta. 3rd ed., 1141 p., Bucureşti: Editura Ceres. ISBN 978-973-40-0817-9. Reference page.
Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. 2011. Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du Nord. Volume 2: Dicotyledoneae: Acanthaceae – Asteraceae. Conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève, ISBN 978-2-8277-0123-0, 428 pp. PDF Reference page.
Danihelka, J., Chrtek Jr., J. & Kaplan, Z. 2012. Checklist of vascular plants of the Czech Republic. Preslia 84(3): 647–811. PDF Reference page.
Güner, A., Aslan, S., Ekim, T., Vural, M. & Babaç, M.T. (eds.) 2012. Türkiye Bitkileri Listesi (Damarlı Bitkiler). Nezahat Gökyiğit Botanik Bahçesi ve Flora Araştırmaları Derneği Yayını. İstanbul. ISBN 978-605-60425-7-7. Online edition. Reference page.
Amini, T., Zare, H. & Alizadeh, B. 2016. A revision of Acer monspessulanum L. in Iran; new subspecies report. Iranian Journal of Botany 22(2): 121–124. Open access PDF Reference page.


USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Acer monspessulanum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 08-Apr-12.

Crowley, D., Rivers, M.C. & Barstow, M. 2018. Acer monspessulanum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. IUCN Red List Category: Least Concern. DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T193835A124731677.en.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Acer monspessulanum in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 January 1. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Acer monspessulanum. Published online. Accessed: 1 January 2020.

Vernacular names
català: Auró negre
čeština: Javor francouzský
Deutsch: Französischer Ahorn
English: Montpellier Maple
español: Arce de Montpellier
suomi: Ranskanvaahtera
français: Érable de Montpellier
galego: Pradairo de Montpellier
hornjoserbsce: Skalny klon
italiano: Acero minore
Nederlands: Montpelieresdoorn
norsk nynorsk: Montpellierlønn
norsk: Montpellierlønn
polski: Klon francuski
português: Zelha
русский: Клён трёхлопастный
sardu: Àciaru
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Maklen
slovenščina: Trokrpi javor
Türkçe: Fransız akçaağacı

Acer monspessulanum, the Montpellier maple, is a species of maple native to the Mediterranean region from Morocco and Portugal in the west, to Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel in the east, and north to the Jura Mountains in France and the Eifel in Germany.[2][3][4]


Acer monspessulanum is a medium-sized deciduous tree or densely branched shrub that grows to a height of 10–15 m (rarely to 20 m).[5] The trunk is up to 75 cm diameter, with smooth, dark grey bark on young trees, becoming finely fissured on old trees. Among similar maples is most easily distinguished by its small three-lobed leaves, 3–6 cm long and 3–7 cm wide, glossy dark green, sometimes a bit leathery, and with a smooth margin, with a 2–5 cm petiole. The leaves fall very late in autumn, typically in November. The flowers are produced in spring, in pendulous, yellow to white corymbs 2–3 cm long. The samaras are 2–3 cm long with rounded nutlets.[3][4]
Flowers and young leaves in spring

It is variable, and a number of subspecies and varieties have been described, but few are widely accepted as distinct. The most widely accepted as distinct is Acer monspessulanum subsp. microphyllum (Boiss.) Bornmueller, from Turkey and Lebanon, with smaller leaves not over 3 cm broad.[3]

The species can be mistaken for Acer campestre (field maple), another maple native to Europe, from which it is best distinguished by the clear sap in the leaves (milk-white in field maple), and the much narrower angle between the samara wings.[3][4]

Among maples not endemic to Japan, A. monspessulanum (and the similar A. campestre) are popular among bonsai enthusiasts.[6] In both cases, the smallish leaves and shrubby habit of the maple respond well to techniques to encourage leaf reduction and ramification.[7] These bonsai have an appearance distinct from those created from maples such as Acer palmatum whose leaves are more frilly and translucent.

Otherwise, Acer monspessulanum is rarely seen in cultivation outside of arboreta. In the United States, a mature specimen may be seen at Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts. A specimen can also be found in the arboretum of the Montreal Botanical Gardens.

"Acer monspessulanum L." Plants of the World Online. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
Flora Europaea: Acer monspessulanum
Rushforth, K. D. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
van Gelderen, C.J. & van Gelderen, D.M. (1999). Maples for Gardens: A Color Encyclopedia.
(in French)Fleurs de France: Acer monspessulanum
Bonsai Club International: Acer monspessulanum Archived November 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
Bonsai Club International: Acer campestre Archived November 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine

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