Horticultural Highlight: Acer, maple

September 22, 2015

Acer palmatum

October, and the leaves turned late but strong.

Rock maples and the reds, clear brazen, blaze

Long-burning feats of sugar through our ways…

                Megan Grumbling

We excerpt here from the definitive book about maples, Maples of the World by van Gelderen, de Jong, and Oterdoom, “For an all too brief period each autumn the woods of North America and the Orient, and many gardens throughout the temperate world, are ablaze with scarlet, gold, and yellow when maples, the most spectacular of all trees, adorn the countryside. Maples delight the eye, provide one of nature’s finest sweets, and hold their own as timber with even the mighty oaks.” The genus Acer, maple has over 120 species worldwide. At Mount Auburn, the horticulture department’s most recent List of Plants tallied 617 maples comprised from 26 species, and two hybrids. We encourage you to visit and view our many Acer saccharum, sugar maple, Acer rubrum, red maple, Acer palmatum, Japanese maple, along with all the other maples throughout our landscape during this autumn’s colorful display.

Join Jim Gorman for Fall Foliage Walking Tours this Autumn!!

Awash in Color
Sunday, October 25th at 1PM

Maple Delight
Saturday, October 31st at 1PM

Awash in Color
Sunday, November 8th at 1PM

Acer palmatum H

Autumn goes loitering through the land

A torch of fire within her hand…

                -Celia Thaxter

Acer griseum

The name – of it – is ‘Autumn’ –

The hue – of it – is Blood –

An Artery – opon the Hill –

A Vein – along the Road – …

-Emily Dickinson

Acer japonicum Aconitifolium

I bade men to tell me which in brief,

Which is fairer, flower of leaf

-Robert Frost

Acer saccharum H

The fall that we were seventeen,

we scuffed our loafers on the gravelly path

from the Meetinghouse, while maple and elm

leaves sailed around our shoulders

like tiny envelopes, our futures sealed inside…

                -Robin Becker

Acer saccharum lvs r

…As they walk

The hems of their outer garments flutter open,

And the blood-red linings glow

Like sharp-toothed maple leaves

In Autumn…

-Amy Lowell

Acer platanoides H y

the golden

platter-sized leaves the maples discarded

all through the golden October, that layered themselves

to a four weeks’ deepness, the days and long nights of October

dense with the soft undertones of their falling…

                –John Engels

Acer saccharum and monument

I’d be an education for the trees

and would relish, really,

flaring into maple each October-

my scarlet letter to you…

                -Anne Stevenson

Acer rubrum H o

Only the faithful maple sheds its leaves every year.

For no reason, its ancestors simply learned it that way…

                -Czeslaw Milosz

Acer rubrum fruit

For an hour I was a maple tree,

And under the summer of his fingers

The notes seeded and winged away

In the clutch of small, elegant helicopters.

                –Sandra Beasley

Acer rubrum fr

..One stately maple, or two, intensely orange?

Only the birds, may be, might have known

These colors, the sudden shift of gears from green

To ocher, umber, brightest yellow, or deepest red,

The colors of the gleeful dead…

Tom Disch

Acer saccharum H o

a red maple leaf and a yellow maple leaf

that wind rifles and rain shines until they let go,

blazing their scripted nothingness on air…

                Emily Warn

Acer spicatum lv

So passionate was the place, so still,

This light leaf falling from air to grass

Was monumental. It held

The exact weight of a tremendous word…

-May Sarton

Acer circinatum lv

Beguile us in the way you know.

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our trees, one far away…

                -Robert Frost

Acer saccharum H y

We talk of first and last things,

Listen to music together

Climb the long hill to the cemetery

In autumn…

-May Sarton

About the Author: Jim Gorman

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