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ACER laevigatum

Image of Acer laevigatum

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER laevigatum

Plant Common Name

Nepal Maple, Smooth Maple

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A maple with long, narrow and glossy leaves, you may mistake this tree for an exotic coffee tree across its native range of the highlands from Bhutan and Nepal across southern China to Vietnam. The smooth or Nepal maple bears light olive-green, evergreen leaves that are somewhat rippled across their surface because of raised veins. Newest leaves emerge with a pinkish coppery color. Tiny teeth occur on the leaf edges, and the leaf petiole stems are pinkish red and are smooth. Naturally occurring variety salweenense differs in having hairy petioles. Clusters of tiny white, five-petaled flowers occur on branch tips in mid-spring, followed by paired samaras by early fall, each maturing tan-yellow to purple-green.

Grow smooth maple in nearly full sun to partial shade in a non-alkaline, moist but well-drained soil. Mimic the woodlands by placing organic matter deeply over the root system in the garden. Leaves will begin to drop off when a hard freeze occurs, becoming awkwardly deciduous in the coldest parts of its hardiness range. New foliage unfurls in spring. Nepal maple is adapted to climates with a wet season in the warmth of summer.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    35'-50' / 10.7m - 15.2m

  • Width

    30'-40' / 9.1m - 12.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia, India, Nepal, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Purple, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Olive, Pink, Copper

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Olive, Pink, Copper

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Olive

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Olive

  • Bark Color

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Shade Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No