Botanical Name : Acer oblongifolium
*Acer albopurpurascens Hayata
*Acer buzimpala Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don
*Acer hypoleucum Hayata
*Acer itoanum (Hayata) H.L.Li
*Acer laikuanii Ling
*Acer lanceolatum Molliard
Common Names: Himalayan maple, Evergreen maple and Kashmir maple
Acer oblongum is native to central, eastern, and southeastern Asia, (from Tibet and northern India east as far as Japan, including southern China, and northern Indochina.) It grows under humid climate of the Himalayan forests, especially along streams, at an elevation of about 600–2,000 metres (2,000–6,600 ft) above sea level.
Acer oblongum is a medium-sized evergreen to semi-deciduous tree reaching a height of approximately 15–22 metres (49–72 ft). Unique among maples, this plant stays green all winter. The trunks are buttressed, with a smooth to wrinkled bark. Leaves are opposite, ovate-lanceolate with entire margin, with a petiole 5–12 cm long, with glaucous-green underside and dark green upperside. The young shoots are reddish bronze and finely hairy. The flowers are hermaphroditic, small and inconspicuous, about 4 mm, greenish white, gathered in hairy racemes. The fruits are represented by the typical two-winged samaras, about 2.5 cm long, wind dispersed. It has been introduced for its wood and it is sometimes cultivated in large gardens for its evergreen foliage.
Acer oblongum is found in the warm temperate zone to the subtropics, usually at elevations above 600 metres. It succeeds in areas of the temperate zone that experience mild winters with few, short-lived frosts – forms from the northern part of its range in China are usually more tolerant of colder winters[. 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. Most maples are bad companion plants, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.
Through Seeds – 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. 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 early summer . 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.
Medicinal Uses: Cytotoxic, antibacterial, anti-tumour and antifungal activities are known. Several species of Acer genera are used traditionally in the treat- ment of cancer, polio, and dysentery (Moerman, 1998).
The leaves of Acer oblongifolium , when laid in layers between crops such as apples, carrots and potatoes, have a preservative effect.
The wood is close grained, moderately hard. It is 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 supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.