Classification of Acer following the Accepted Names in the Genus

Discussion in 'Maples' started by emery, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    The Maple Society Open Science Initiative is pleased to present a new classification of the species Acer following the Accepted Names in the genus.

    This new classification, edited by E. Davis, incorporates the work of the Maple Society Species Group to organize the list of Accepted Names in Acer, according to the organization proposed by Crowley, D (2020) in 'Acer' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online. (IDS). Crowley's work is itself an extension of the de Jong classification, last updated in 2002. Please note that while the classification differs from Flora of China at the Sectional level, it agrees at the Species level.

    You can find the full classification here Open Science at the Maple Society | The Maple Society.

    IMG_20200315_165423.jpg
    Acer opalus in flower
     
  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Just read it, excellent E.
     
  3. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Bumping this thread because it was relevant to a discussion on another topic.

    I wonder if the new classification has been published in full outside of the Maple Society website? I followed the link from there to the Trees and Shrubs Online section but it does not appear to have been fully updated.

    If it has only been published by the Maple Society is it considered to be the present definitive word on the subject? By that I mean is it generally accepted to supercede all previous classifications of the genus Acer?

    I ask because it has been questioned whether Acer amoenum is a species name widely accepted in the scientific community? To me the division between palmatum and amoenum seems natural and logical, and has long been accepted in Japan, but I know this view is not universally shared.

    (No criticism of the authors or Maple Society intended, just a genuine question about how widespread the acceptance of the new classification is...)
     
  4. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    I found a Maple Society document titled:

    Systematic Classification of Acer
    Screenshot_20220725-211348_OneDrive.jpg

    In this document on page 5 of 9 they list:
    Acer amoenum (Carriere) Hara (1954)

    Screenshot_20220725-211323_OneDrive~2.jpg

    If you look at the actual citation you will find:

    Species: Acer palmatum Thunb. Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara. This subspecies is accepted, and its native range is S. Korea, Japan.
    Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science
    and
    Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara

    Or just Google search "Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara 1954"

    The actual citation states amoenum is a subspecies of palmatum "subsp. amoenum" (subsp. is the accepted abbreviation for subspecies)

    I think this is leading to a lot of misinformation that amoenum is a species of Acer when in fact it is an accepted SUBSPECIES of Acer palmatum. (I've seen it mentioned a lot on this forum since this document came out in 2017)

    The document should be updated to prevent the spread of misinformation. I suggest:
    Acer palmatum subsp.
    amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara
    Published in: H. Hara. In: Enum. Spermatophytarum Japon. 3: 109. (1954).

    If the Maple Society did intend to claim that amoenum is a species of Acer and not a subspecies of palmatum they need better scientific proof (different citation than the one provided). Their current citation for such a claim is about as valuable as the paper this document was printed on!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2022
  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well. Firstly, I should state (in context) that I am no longer involved in the Maple Society in any directional role, having resigned that capacity, along with IIRC 7 other committee members last year. So, while I understand you don't like the MS, John, I think you're aiming at the wrong target.

    Let's separate two projects which are being confused.

    The first project was to determine a list of widely Accepted Names of Acer species. (It can be found at Accepted Species List for Acer - Maple Society) A group of leading Acer botanists led by Koen Camelbeke of Wespelaar, and including people like Hugh Angus and Dan Crowley of Westonbirt, Anthony Aiello of the Morris Arboretum, Piotr Banazcek of Rogow, Piet de Jong of University Utrecht, and more, set out to form a list of names that had gained wide current acceptance in the taxonomical community. To this end they consulted with botanists around the world, including people like AJ Harris, then of the Smithsonian, Yalma Vargas at Guadalajara, Chen Yousheng of the Chinese Academy of Science (and FOC fame), botanists in Iran, Pakistan, and throughout the worldwide taxonomical community. Names which were controversial, e..g. A. schneiderianum, or various A. pictum ssp., were left off; so the list is not meant to be complete. Nor is it meant to be a definitive project, rather it is a living document (or that was the idea) which would be updated over time.

    The MS had no participation in the work, except as a channel to release it, and to provide some necessary funding. The list was widely disseminated to botanists (including here) for comment and feedback. I recall the forum's own Michael F. made some contributions.

    WRT to Acer amoenum, I am not competent to override the opinions of the group of taxonomists who collaborated to produce the "Accepted Names." But I do know that many online sources have not been updated with information in the list, which was after all only released in Spring of last year (2021). I can point you however to the explanation at the IDS, widely considered to be the best dendrology source and the modern replacement for Bean, and written by Dan Crowley on the article on Acer (note the section work is incomplete however):

    "Section Palmata is the largest section of the genus, and as well as some of the most interesting members botanically, it also contains the most popular group of maples in gardens, the ‘Japanese maples’. The majority of such cultivars, selected for their foliage characteristics, are derived from A. amoenum and A. palmatum. Treated as a single species (A. palmatum) comprising three subspecies by van Gelderen et al. (1994), the Japanese have long seen them as two separate species, with A. amoenum comprising three varieties itself, as treated in the Flora of Japan (Ogata 1999). The Flora of Japan treatment is followed here for the accounts of the wild species." Crowley, D. (2020), 'Acer' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/acer/). Accessed 2022-07-26.

    Obviously, A. amoenum is treated separately by treesandshrubs.

    So, the trend in the work group was to be "splitters" rather than "lumpers", and several species were increased in rank from where de Jong put them, in MOW and subsequently in 2002. wrt theplantlist.org, I have found them to be a bit out of date generally, IIRC they don't include all the changes from FOC, which was in 2008.

    Now, you can dislike the Maple Society for encouraging and publishing this work, but personally I think advancements in taxonomy (in the case of amoenum giving precedence to Flora of Japan) are a good thing. And it's not like the MS decided to come up with this out of nowhere.

    A completely separate thing, this post here at UBC concerns a systemic classification of the species which I put together for the OSI (which as far as I know no longer exists, so there's something for you, anyway!) based on the Accepted Names and the Acer article in Trees and Shrubs (in turn based on de Jong 2002). I stress to you, there is absolutely nothing new, research-wise or taxonomy-wise, about this classification. It was born out of my desire to see a systemic classification based on the work that had been done: such as you can find in MOW, de Jong 2002 or FOC. I wanted this for myself, because it helps me navigate the taxonomy. So I took the names from the Accepted Names list, and cross referenced (with lots of help from Dan Crowley) with the Acer article on treesandshrubs,org, to produce the systemic classification by section/series. All this is clearly stated in the paper. This was actually a lot of work, but some have found it useful, and I do, so that's something. I think it's a pretty classic example of Open Science, which if you are opposed to conceptually, I won't argue about. But of course, science (open or otherwise) doesn't always get things right, and that's why it's important to have living documents that are open to change.

    The paper has a permanent home on research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/public...with_The_Maple_Society_Accepted_Species_Names

    I hope that has answered your questions related to the validity and seriousness of the Accepted Names list, from which the systemic classification concerned in this post draws species names. Failing that, for questions about the ANL, I refer you to the Maple Society in the sure knowledge that they will never respond to your queries.

    If you have further questions about species placement in the systemic classification, I would be happy to try to respond, or make corrections if you find errors; however, and alas, the species taxonomy comes from the work of most esteemed botanists, who created the ANL, so I will not quibble with it, nor consider the taxonomy their considerable work represents to be "misinformation." If you have trouble with the IDS work, they might even respond to a question!
     
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  6. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    This leads to other problems with the next entry below on the list from page 5 of 9.
    Screenshot_20220725-211323_OneDrive~2.jpg

    I question the next line:
    Acer amoenum var. matsumurae (koidzumi) 1911

    When I look this up I find
    G. Koidzumi (1911) divided Acer palmatum into three subspecies (genuinum Koidz., septenlobum (Thunb.) Koidz., and Matsumurae Koidz.)

    May want to consider:

    Acer palmatum subsp. matsumurae Koidz.
    Screenshot_20220726-103813_Chrome.jpg
    Acer palmatum - Trees and Shrubs Online
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2022
  7. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    You're confusing a question about the ANL with a question about the systemic classification. The latter just repeats the information in the former.

    You're saying, you found an error in the ANL. I have nothing to do with that except that in the past I provided some support. There doesn't seem to be any way to contact the species group any more, and I don't know who the current leader is, so the MS is your only hope.

    But please understand that the systemic classification is just what it says on the tin: A systemic classification according to the accepted names.

    Aside from that, you do realize that these people are relatively well known and careful researchers, and likely to look stuff up? And that they're not restricted to the internet, but go to libraries and sneeze, and stuff? And that the ANL was circulated, reviewed and modified from the original pass?
     
  8. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    This list cites Acer amoenum (Carriere) Hara (1954)
    Screenshot_20220726-105032_Chrome.jpg

    If you look at the citation you will find:
    Subspecies Synonym. Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara. Published in: H. Hara. In: Enum. Spermatophytarum Japon. 3: 109. (1954).

    Species: Acer palmatum Thunb. Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara. This subspecies is accepted, and its native range is S. Korea, Japan.

    What am I missing? Can they update the website to take you to (Carriere) Hara (1954) so I can see the citation that supports their claim? Or can you provide it?

    Where is the proof that supports amoenum is its own species and not a subspecies?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2022
  9. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    There's one tree nursery in France that has listed their trees either as amoenum or palmatum for a couple of years, and it's the one that has probably the largest collection of "Japanese maples", Maillot Erables. They claim to have about 700 varieties or cultivars. On the page that I linked, in the drop-down menu on the right (espèces), they have both "Amoenum" and "Palmatum". Most of the other nuseries I know of still label their trees as "palmatum"...

    On a French forum about maples, they also make the difference between amoenum and palmatum. I was a bit reluctant to admit the difference at first, but I confess that was mainly because all my photos are in files listed as "acerp-..." and I thought it would be impossible to change the labels of the thousands of photos I've had for years now... ^_^

    Acer du Japon,sélections et cultivars, description et photos. - Au jardin, forum de jardinage
     
  10. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Why would I do that? I've already told you: I had little or nothing to do with the the MS Species workgroup, and I have nothing to do with the MS now.

    The Accepted Names was not the purpose of this thread; ask the MS for references, and good luck!

    Personally, I consider the ANL to be a list of species like that which forms the base of any other classification; except this one was widely consulted and discussed.

    The salient point now is, you reject the authority of these botanists to gather consensus and make a new list. Perhaps because this effort was supported by the MS. I disagree, I think there's no one more qualified than this group, and that the effort to include only names that generated broad consensus was genuine, and that the understanding of maple species, both molecularly and morphologically, has changed considerably since 2002, so it was worth doing.

    That's OK, to each his own.
     
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  11. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Quite true.
    Even wise... guy me has to admit this is the best reference for naming species. ;0)
     
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  12. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    I'm trying to say that the ANL list is wrong to list amoenum as it's own species. From the published paper you provided:
    https://www.researchgate.net/public...with_The_Maple_Society_Accepted_Species_Names

    Acer amoenum (Carriere) Hara (1954)

    The citation is (Carriere) Hara (1954)
    Every other scientific authority says amoenum is a subspecies of Acer palmatum. With the exact same citation!

    If you look at the actual citation you will find:
    Species: Acer palmatum Thunb. Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara. This subspecies is accepted, and its native range is S. Korea, Japan.
    Published in: H. Hara. In: Enum. Spermatophytarum Japon. 3: 109. (1954)

    It shouldn't be Acer amoenum it should be:
    Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2022
  13. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    The ANL workgroup decided that amoenum was to be raised in rank, and become it's own species, in accordance with Japanese sources. I gave you the quote from the IDS, with the explanation, which references Ogata 1999, Flora of Japan. If you think they have the authority wrong, by all means contact them. Idem if you object to raising amoenum in rank, though you seem to give as a reason that it shouldn't be raised because it wasn't previously raised, which makes no sense that I can follow, but maybe one of the botanists will sympathize. It seems unlikely but not impossible that during a quick internet research you would discover a problem that slipped by everyone, but it may be (I really don't know) that they will publish another round of the ANL at some point, and I'm sure all contributions are still welcome. If or when a new ANL comes out, I will be sure to update the classification.

    Again John, I am no longer involved with the MS, and you are very unlikely to convince me that raising amoenum is a mistake, considering that I have argued for years that it's morphological differences make it likely a different species! ;)
     
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  14. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I don't have any scientific background to support one or the other nomenclature, but I tend to trust the specialists who are more savvy about description and phylogenetics of these "varieties".

    Maybe the "plain species" are different enough to put them into different categories. Acers being easily cross-bred, I now often refer to a cultivar as "palmoenum", which is a way to avoid taking sides.

    The French version of Wikipedia (not "the Bible" ! but useful...) lists the two as different species :

    Classification des érables — Wikipédia

    I had a link to pages about "Japanese plants", trees and other plants, but unfortunately the link is dead. But I'm pretty sure they listed the 2 as different species of maples.

    Another link (I've had it in my bookmarks for years) makes a distinction between palmatum/amoenum/ and matsumurae. What is interesting is that this page shows that the locations mentioned by the author vary : so, whether it's just a variant or a different species, it seems that the different names correspond to trees that are, at least, found in different locations...

    Japanese Maples

    Shall I rename all my files "palmatusmuoenum" ?... :-(

    Too long, I'll stick to acerp-... I know now that they're probably different species, but frankly, I can pick a fight on more important issues. ;°)

    After all, "What's in a name?" may matter for people, not for plants...
     
  15. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hey sorry @emery I probably started this discussion in the wrong thread, should have picked the "Accepted Name List" thread, but this seemed like it was the same topic and a newer thread.

    I think the salient point regarding Acer amoenum is that this list takes the lead in that regard from the 1999 Flora of Japan treatment (as mentioned above in the Dan Crowley quote) which supercedes all the previous 1950's and similar references. Unfortunately Flora of Japan is not onlike like Flora of China is so cannot be easily linked on here. The Japanese botanists who worked on this are in a position to know more about the endemic maples of Japan than outsiders do and their treatment can surely be trusted.

    One other point about Acer amoenum which supports it being a species is the fact that palmatum and amoenum are reported to not easily hybridise with each other - if they were the same species this would not be an issue - and are more well known to hybridise with other maples in section palmata.
     
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  16. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    In regard of this, I'd say (yet again!) high time that the ridiculous lumping of Acer ginnala as a subspecies of Acer tataricum should be reversed. They are readily distinguished, and there is a ~3,000 km range gap between where they occur (map, below). The Euro+Med PlantBase treats it as a separate species, as does USDA Plants, if you want references for its acceptance by major authorities.
    Acer_Section_Ginnala_map.png
     
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  17. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Wow ! Another bone of contention, apparently. ;^)

    But it is very interesting to hear the arguments of the different parties. I must admit that Michael F's last post is food for thought...
     
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  18. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I've been on about it for years :-)

    I used to have a few other disagreements with the old maple list, but every single one of them was sorted in the new list, apart from the Acer ginnala case...
     
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  19. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    No problems, easy to do! I put the systemic classification together a few months after the ANL was released, precisely because when I couldn't remember a new name I had no easy way of finding it.

    Well, I'm glad the new list solved most of the problems for you, anyway. It's hard not to be sympathetic to your argument, but I guess most weren't entirely so. It's really too bad that in some of the most interesting new molecular analysis (both phylogenetic and biogeographical), Li et al 1029 (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jse.12535), both Acers ginalla and tataricum aren't treated. They use tataricum samples as the only representative of the section.

    Oddly enough, the ANL change that seems to have generated the most objections is Acer serrulatum. Which I would have thought to be fairly benign, simply raising up to a previous name and level, which plenty of people still used anyway (including in China). But apparently a lot of people really liked it lumped as A. oliverianum ssp formosanum.
     
  20. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks! Yes, it was nice to see Acer lobelii returned to species (its sometime lumping into A. cappadocicum being a complete farce), and ditto the species formerly included in Acer saccharum (A. grandidentatum, A. skutchii, etc.).

    Not one I'm familiar with, but on general principle I'd support species status, as the Taiwan flora has a high rate of endemism, and has (particularly for higher altitude taxa) been isolated from mainland China for a long time, still being a remote 'sky island' even when the lowlands were connected at the lowest sea levels during glaciation.
     
  21. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    Acer amoenum may have some merits for being it's own species but I don't see anything formal indicating that has happened.

    If I search Dan Crowley's site for Acer amoenum I get no returns.
    Screenshot_20220728-104146_Chrome.jpg

    On his site I do find information under Acer palmatum that amoenum is a subspecies.
    Screenshot_20220728-105050_Chrome.jpg

    Is opinion being confused as scientific fact? If it was officially reclassified then why doesn't Crowley's site return results for Acer amoenum?
     

    Attached Files:

  22. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hard to say, but I tend to trust the "scientific authorities" that proposed a new classification, for I am not a scientific authority.

    For instance, a wolf looks more like an Alsatian dog than to a Poodle. Yet, because of various factors, including genetics, the two species have been put into different species, and are now considered as different by everyone.

    I'm afraid I haven't conviced you... But that's OK ;-)
     
  23. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    A. serrulatum is practically a poster child for bad lumping: it was Murray, everyone's favorite botanist, who lumped it (along with lots of other stuff) in 1969. Hayata named it in 1911, the same year Koidzumi thought it was a "subvar." Anyway it's back where it belongs. I agree about Lobel's Maple too. I managed to get a nice seedling from James Harris last year, just before Brexit, it's doing well but still in a pot.

    Um, I'm afraid you're losing site of the forest for the trees. It's not Crowley's site, it's the IDS. I suppose maybe Grimshaw is in charge of the Trees and Shrubs project, under the aegis of the IDS, but everything on there is reviewed. Michael, maybe you know who's in charge of the project. It's a massive project, and the maple section is not up to date.

    From the article on Acer, written by Grimshaw:

    "The large and complex genus Acer is being revised for Trees and Shrubs Online section by section. First to be published (August 2020) was Section Macrantha, the snakebark maple..."

    "A working checklist of accepted species within the genus will shortly be published by the Maple Society, while a vegetative key to the species known in Western cultivation as of 2018 was published in that year (De Langhe & Crowley 2018) and is available on the Arboretum Wespelaar website. A key to all members of the genus incorporating floral and fruit characters is currently in progress (Crowley, in prep.). ..."

    Jan De Langhe kindly allowed me to include Key on the MS website, so it is also available there, but it predates the ANL. I am not aware that Crowley's key has been published.

    Again, it isn't "Crowley's site" or "Crowley's opinion", it's the IDS, for whom Crowley, as an eminent expert on Asian maples is a contributor, and the ANL a taxonomical revision made by a group of leading Acer experts, of which Crowley is (or was) a member.

    The answer for why everything isn't up to date is simple: time, money, volunteers, covid slowing everything down, etc.

    I've done my best to explain this, but I sense you're no closer to accepting that this is legitimate science. So our opinions will have to diverge, I fear. All the best, though.
     
  24. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Chacun voit midi à sa porte... ;-)
     
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  25. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    Yep...agree to disagree.

    The abstract from the published paper states:

    This classification, edited by E. Davis, summarizes current thinking and incorporates the work of the Maple Society Species Group to organize the list of Accepted Names in Acer, according to the classification proposed by Crowley, D. (2020), ‘Acer’ from the website Trees and Shrubs Online.
    https://www.researchgate.net/public...with_The_Maple_Society_Accepted_Species_Names

    I read "proposed by Crowley" as just that, proposed.
     

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