Quarryhill Botanical Garden

Advancing the Conservation, Study, and Cultivation of the Flora of Asia

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Featured Plants

Acer pentaphyllum

Among the rarest and most endangered of all maples, Acer pentaphyllum has been all but decimated in its native habitat, the mixed forests and valleys of southwest Sichuan, due to grazing and overdevelopment.  It is moderately tender, requiring protection from hard frosts and inappropriate for severe winter climates, requires regular water, and prefers full sun exposure.  This maple is notoriously difficult to propagate by seed (though grafting has been quite successful), with much fruit being parthenocarpic (produced without fertilization).  Quarryhill, however, has managed to germinate more than 200 seedlings over the past several years, the vast majority of which are now in an established conservation grove at Quarryhill where they are destined to provide seed stocks for future preservation of the species and reintroduction into its native Chinese habitats.  Through Quarryhill’s efforts, Acer pentaphyllum has become a symbol of the nascent struggle to address species loss in one of the world’s most compromised and ecologically threatened regions of the world.

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