Herb latin name: Acer mono
Synonyms: Acer pictum
Family: Aceraceae (Maple Family)
Medicinal use of Acer mono:The leaves are an irritant. The bark is astringent.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Mountains all over Japan. Hillsides, mountain valleys and forests from sea level to 1800 metres in China.
Edible parts of Acer mono:The sap contains a certain amount of sugar and can either be used as a drink, or can be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The concentration of sugar is considerably lower than in the sugar maples (A. saccharum). The tree trunk is tapped in the early spring, the sap flowing better on warm sunny days following a frost. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates. Leaves - cooked. A famine food, they are only used when all else fails.
Other uses of the herb:The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. Wood - hard, close grained. Used as a fuel.
Propagation of Acer mono:Seed of this species is rarely available. If obtained, it is 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 June or July. 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. Grafting onto the roots of A. platanoides is usually successful, but the graft should be made as low as possible to reduce the incident of suckers from the rootstock.
Cultivation of the herb:Mountains all over Japan. Hillsides, mountain valleys and forests from sea level to 1800 metres in China.
Known hazards of Acer mono:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.