22 Dec 2010

Winter Colour: Red

Striking red branches of the newly planted Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku' stand out against the snow in the Holkham Walled Garden. 

The plant is linked to Carl Peter Thurnberg
a Swedish doctor and naturalist. In the 1770's he passed himself off as a Dutchman in order to sail as ships doctor to the secretive islands of Japan closed at that time to the outside world and whose rulers would only admit Dutch trading merchants.Thurnberg was able to travel a little and he  wrote the  first detailed description of the flora and fauna of Japan: “Flora Japonica”. He made drawings of the Acers that he found there and gave it the species name palmatum after the hand-like shape of its leaves. 

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