- Deciduous tree/shrub, 20-30 ft (6-9 m) tall, nearly as wide, upright, open, airy habit. Leaves opposite, palmately compound, 8 cm long, 5 narrow, green leaflets, divided down to the petiole, radiate evenly around that point; fall colors, yellow, orange, and red. Flowers small, have 5 petals and 8stamens, filaments glabrous. Fruit (samara) 2.3-2.5 cm long and about 8 mm wide, wings spreading at 90°.
- Sun to part shade. Best in well-drained, cool, moist, acidic soil.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 7 Native to China, nearing extinction. Joseph Rock, while on an expedition sponsored by the National Geographic Society in 1929, discovered Acer pentaphyllum in southwestern Sichuan near the small Tibetan town of Muli. A detailed account of its "rediscovery" in China is on the Quarryhill Botanical Garden website (www.quarryhillbg.org).
- pentaphyllum: penta, five, and phyllum, leaf (here leaflets), a reference to the 5 leaflets per leaf.