Himalayan mapple(Acer oblongum Wall.ex DC)

Botanical Name :Acer oblongum Wall.ex DC
Family : Aceraceae
Genus : Acer

Common Name :Himalayan mapple, Pharbanj, Mark, Pangoi.

Habitat:E. Asia – Himalayas from Pakistan to S. W. China and Burma.  Found in lime-free soils in forests at altitudes between1000 – 3000 metres[51, 200].

Description:
Trees evergreen, 12 to 15 m tall. Bark smooth to wrinkled. Trunk irregularly buttressed at base. Twigs red-brown or purplish, slender. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 5-18 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, glabrescent, reddish when young, later dark green above, paler to glaucous beneath; nerves pinnate in 6-8 pairs; base rounded to subacute; petioles slender, 2-10 cm long. Inflorescence corymobose, pubescent on leafy terminal and lateral shoots, 5-15 cm long. Pedicels pubescent. Flowers 5-merous, 7-9 mm across, greenish-white. Sepals linear, 1-2 mm wide, acute, pubescent. Petals narrowly lanceolate, 1-2 mm wide. Stamens 8, inserted on disc. Ovary pubescent, styles free nearly to the base. Samaras glabrous, 2-3 cm long; wings veined, divergent, constricted at base; nutlets gibbous, locules white-pubescent inside.  CLICK TO SEE

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It is hardy to zone 7. The seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil in a sunny position but tolerates some shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Chlorosis can sometimes develop as a result of iron deficiency when the plants are grown in alkaline soils, but in general maples are not fussy as to soil pH. This species is found on acid soils in the wild. This species is not hardy in all parts of Britain, forms from China are hardier but even then this species is better grown in the warmer parts of the country. Most maples are bad companion plants, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.

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Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 – 4 months at 1 – 8°c. It can be slow to germinate. The seed can be harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all[80, 113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 – 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter. If seed is unavailable, the plant can be grafted onto A. buergerianum.

Medicial Uses:

You may click to see :
Encyclopedia of Himalayan Medicinal Flora, Vol.
I
Ethnobotanical Observations in the Mornaula Reserve Forest of Kumoun, West Himalaya, India :

Other Uses
Preservative; Wood.

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. Wood – close grained, moderately hard. Used for agricultural implements, minor construction, cups etc

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://server9.web-mania.com/users/pfafardea/database/plants.php?Acer+oblongum
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200013053
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp

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