Common name: Montpelier maple
Acer monspessulanum is a slow-growing, medium-sized, deciduous tree or shrub belonging to the Soapberry family (Sapindaceae). It is native to the Mediterranean region.
Acer monspessulanum has leaves which are small, somewhat leathery, three-lobed and dark green with smooth margins. Greenish-yellow flowers in corymbs bloom in May. The bark is smooth and dark grey on a young tree, but becomes fissured as it matures.
Acer monspessulanum was first discovered in France. The specific epithet 'monspessulanum' means 'of Montpellier' in France.
Acer monspessulanum is sometimes used by bonsai enthusiasts because of its smallish leaves and shrubby habit. It is one of the most drought-tolerant of the maples.
It can be found in Bed 115 of the Maples area.
Text and photos by Kumi Sutcliffe