Characteristics of Tropical Maple Tree (Acer laurinum) in the Wild

Acer laurinum
Tropical Maple Tree or Ki Kanda (Acer laurinum) is the only member of the genus Acer originating from Indonesia and the southern hemisphere. This species represents the genus Acer that grows in the tropics.

The name “Ki Kanda” refers to a type of Acer hyrcanum originating from subtropical areas in Europe and East Asia. However, Indonesians are familiar with calling Ki Kanda for Acer laurinum.

 
Acer laurinum also has many recorded synonym names such as:

  • Acer chionophyllum Merrill
  • Acer decandrum Merrill
  • Acer garrettii Craib
  • Acer laurinum subsp. decandrum (Merrill) AE Murray
  • Acer laurinum var. petelotii (Gagnepain) Phamhoang
  • Acer longicarpum Hu   WC Cheng
  • Acer macropterum TZ Hsu   H. Sun (1997)
  • Acer numeum Blume
  • Acer philippinum Merrill

 
Tropical Maple Trees can be found in wet (but very rare) tropical rainforests in the highlands of Sumatra, Java, Nusa Tenggara, South Sulawesi, the Malay Peninsula, and the Philippines.

 

Characteristics of Tropical Maple Leaf

Acer laurinum Leaf
Source: flickr.com/Paco Garin

The leaves are composed of a single pinnate compound, 9-15 × 3-8 cm in size, oval leaf blade, green and pale green underside.
 
Acer laurinum Leaf Bottom
Source: flickr.com/Paco Garin

As large as the Tropical Maple tree, its leaves fall in seasons that do not support growth.

 

Characteristics of Tropical Maple Flower

Acer laurinum Flower
Source: phytoimages.siu.edu

The flowers are greenish or yellowish-white, the flower stalk is 5-35 mm, and the flowers are 2.5-10 cm. The species is dioecious, with separate male and female flowers.

 

Characteristics of Tropical Maple Fruit

Acer laurinum Fruit
Source: phytoimages.siu.edu

The fruit is shaped like a flat dumbbell and is light, which when ripe and dries off of the stalk.

 

Characteristics of Tropical Maple Tree

Acer laurinum Tree
Source: flickr.com/Paco Garin

This tree can grow into a large tree as high as 40 meters in the wild. The shape of the tree is upright and the crown is irregular. The bark is scaly red-brown.

Tropical Maple Trees are now hard to find. Cibodas Botanical Garden located in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia only has two specimens, each of which comes from West Java and South Sulawesi.

 

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