Vascular – Exotic
Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Terrestrial. Coastal and lowland plant on sites with high fertility. Grows in a wide range of open forest and scrub types with moderately high light levels.
Large monoecious, deciduous tree to 20 m high with smooth grey bark. Large 5-lobed leaves up to 20 cm long on slender reddish petioles up to 15 cm long. Small green flowers in dense clusters. Seeds 0.5-1 cm long with distinctive wings up to 4 cm long.
A number of exotic maple species are cultivated in NZ. All Acer species have the distinctive winged seeds but the combination of 5-lobed leaves (not compound) and the smooth trunk separate Acer pseudoplatanus from most other species.
late summer-early autumn (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).
Perennial. Species is deciduous (Porteus 1993; Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). Seeds germinate synchronously in spring; seed dormancy is broken by chilling (5 degrees Celsius for 6 weeks); seed bank is termed “transient” which probably means that the seeds don’t last more than a year (Buddenhagen, C. pers. comm.). Plants are monoecious so some selfing may occur. Seeds produced annually, in bunches up to 40; probably greater than 10,000 seeds per tree. Seed bank transient. Seed dispersed by gravity and by wind (up to 100 metres)
Central and Southern Europe
Reason for introduction
acer: Thought to be derived from the Latin acer ‘hard’ or ‘sharp’, the wood once having been used for writing tablets
Highly tolerant to shade (although growth in the shade is slow) and moderately tolerant to drought. Fairly resistant to frost. Resprouting from stumps occurs after any physical damage.