Numbering approximately 120 species of northern temperate hemisphere trees and shrubs, members of the genus Acer are usually noted for their lobed, palmate leaves. Acer davidii is one of a few exceptions to this, having ovate, unevenly toothed foliage, with parallel veins, which are carried on red petioles. In spring it produces delicate racemes of pale yellow flowers, and it will produce the key-like fruits typical of the genus. The bark is marked by white streaking, and has earned this species the common name snake-bark maple. A native of China, it was first introduced into our gardens by the Veitch nursery, which acquired it in 1879 from the plant collector Charles Maries, who was employed as a plant collector by them .