s a species of maple in the snakebark maple group. It is native to China, from Jiangsu south to Fujian and Guangdong, and west to southeastern Gansu and Yunnan
The tree was originally discovered by French priest Armand David who was in Central China as a missionary. It was re-discovered by Charles Maries during his visit to Jiangsu in 1878.
t is a small deciduous tree growing to 10–15 m tall with a trunk up to 40 cm in diameter, though usually smaller and often with multiple trunks, and a spreading crown of long, arching branches. The bark is smooth, olive-green with regular narrow pale vertical stripes on young trees, eventually becoming dull grey-brown at the base of old trees. The leaves are 6–18 cm long and 4–9 cm broad, with a petiole 3–6 cm long; they are dark green above, paler below, ovate, unlobed or weakly three-lobed, with a serrated margin. They turn to bright yellow, orange or red in the autumn. The flowers are small, yellow, with five sepals and petals about 4 mm long; they are produced on arching to pendulous 7–12 cm racemes in late spring, with male and female flowers on different racemes. The samara nutlets are 7–10 mm long and 4–6 mm broad, with a wing 2–3 cm long and 5 mm broad