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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Maple and Sweet Gum

I was so impressed by these colorful large star-shaped leaves.




These leaves look like  maple leaves. 



These are not maple leaves but Liquidambar styraciflua, or American sweet gum leaves.
North American people would be familiar with this tree.




When you see hard, spiked fruits, you'll know this tree and maple tree are of different families.




"Sweet gum seed delivery involves 1-to-1 1/4-inch-sized balls containing many individual fruits, ending in sharp-pronged points and each containing one or two long-winged seeds. These brown 'gumballs' are sturdy, able to survive being stepped on.  Maple samaras are more easily trod on, flat-winged pods each containing a single-seed fruit."

 Differences Between Maple & Sweet Gum


charming prickly fruits

Japanese name, America-fuu (アメリカフウ) or Momijiba-fuu (モミジバフウ), was named so because they came from America or because they have five-pointed leaves like "momiji", or Japanes maple leaves.  Are you confused with maple and sweetgum leaves like I had been?  A Japanese maple leave is smaller and looks like a baby's hand.

Japanese maple is popular for its soft translucent green color foliage in spring .....


.... for its lush green in summer....


..... and for its fiery color in autumn.



 Now I'm equally attracted by sweet gum leaves and fruits.



Look up at the kaleidoscopic ceiling!



41 comments:

  1. Hi,Stardust.
    I have just opened my coputer.
    秋も深まって来ました。今年は悲しいことがあったので身近にあるあちらこちらの美しい赤や黄色の葉が散るのを見ると、何かもの寂しい思いにとらわれていきます。今日のポストの写真は日本画のようにきれいですね。
    来年は良いことがありますように!
    Have a lovely week ahead, Yoko. Tomoko

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  2. I love the bright colors Yoko. The sweetgum tree leaves look beautiful but I loved the Japanese green leaves and the fiery red colored leaves more. Also the pics are very beautiful, very colorful.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a fabulous week ahead Yoko:)

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  3. The are splendid aren't they?! I am not a gardener but enjoy all these trees with changing colours, and i am lucky as I have all the species you are writing about today in my garden! I can't stop watching them as they evolve through the seasons as they are equally delightful during spring!
    I learnt a lot about them today!

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  4. Hi Yoko
    they are very similar and I would probably have thought the sweet gum was a maple. I notice the maple leaves in your photo have a more horizontal habit whereas the other tend to droop downwards.
    I noticed the crepe myrtle at the end of your post and want to tell you that the myrtles are flowering here now. A huge pink one hangs over the end of the main road at the beach ~ we used to sit and have coffee at a little cafe opposite enjoying the blossoming tree. Unfortunately the coffee shop closed but I'll enjoy the tree as I walk around into the national park this week.

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  5. Hello. What a beautiful post as always.
    I learned a various meanings of momiji.
    It's so happy to enjoy these leaves even this year.

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  6. Lovely Autumn colors, Yoko. The property here has a grouping of sweet gum and sugar maple trees. I wish I had a lovely Japanese maple though. On the lane to Alivia's house, one can hardly walk without stepping on the prickly fruit of the sweet gum. The trees have a nice lovely shape too!

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  7. Hello Yoko:
    Acers and Liquidambers are such magnificent trees, particularly for the spectacular autumnal tones and tints that they offer. The leaves look particularly pretty against the sky as your beautiful photographs show here.

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  8. I like its delicate shape of maple leaves better than American sweetgum leaves. There are two big trees like maple in a park near my house. Now they are getting red and very beautiful. I understand now those trees are sweetgums. Thank you.
    Have a lovely week!

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  9. SON MUY PARECIDO ,DE NO SER POR SU FRUTO LOS CONFUNDIRÍA
    LA COLORACIÓN DE LAS HOJAS,LOS MATICES DE LAS DISTINTAS FOTOS MUY BUENAS
    UN GUSTO DE VISITARTE
    SALUDOS

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  10. wow. that last photo is just stunning! thank you! wonderful post!

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  11. Now that you mentioned the spiky hard fruit of them, I remember seeing them as a decoration item for Christmas wreath sprayed in gold or silver.
    I might've taken American sweetgums for Japanese maple trees(かえで).
    So the difference is clear by checking if they have these spiky hard fruit or not.
    Thank you for an interesting information.

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  12. Oh wow! Such poetic leaves - so beautiful! Those Japanese maple leaves must be some of the most beautiful I've ever seen...

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  13. They are so beautiful Yoko! I love them!
    Have a great new week my friend:)
    Hugs
    Joo

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  14. One of my favorite trees is the Japanese Maple which I feel has singular grace and color no matter what the season. Your photo of the autumn maple shows these qualities so well. Long ago, when my children were small, we gathered the sweet gum fruit and used them to make a centerpiece for our table. They are indeed quite prickly and this helps them stick together and balance in interesting indoor arrangements. (Thank you for reminding me of this happy memory, Yoko.)

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  15. nature's sweet fall surprises!!

    these are beautiful!! i hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

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  16. Those bits and pieces of color are very much like in a kaleidoscope, stardust. The last photo would make an amazing design for a mural or blanket but the perfection of nature’s proportions would be difficult to duplicate. :)

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  17. Sí el otoño en los arces es majestuoso!! Bss

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  18. Your last photo is absolutely remarkable! I would call these colours sentimental - nostalgic and reminiscent of another era. How beautiful and peaceful!

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  19. Hi

    Thanks so much for telling us about the difference between Japanese maple trees and American sweetgums. Oh I didn't know it!
    Your photos are all so beautiful! I love green maple leaves too. The word "ao-momiji 青もみじ”also fascinates us as well as "aka-momiji 赤もみじ". And I love to eat Momiji temprura!!

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  20. stardustさん こんにちわ

    緑色のもみぢが、とても柔らかな雰囲気を醸し出しています。
    古都の紅葉景色は、さぞかしすばらしいことでしょう。

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  21. What a good Autumn series.
    The red maple leaves against the golden background could be enamel on a copper vase. So pretty.

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  22. Ah, realistic leaves. But you still make 'em dance!

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  23. sturdustさん
    古都の楓が綺麗に色づき始めているようですね。赤い紅葉の背景がゴールドで、まるで屏風絵のような美しさ! 存分に楽しませ頂きありがとうございます。折角横浜までお越しでしたのに、冷たい雨のお迎えとなり残念でした。また、神戸ご出身とはヽ(^◇^*)/♪ 同郷人としても宜しくお願い致します。可愛いお孫さんもおられてお幸せですね。我が家には22歳のひとり娘がいますが、また赤ちゃんを抱ける日を今から楽しみにしています。

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  24. Thank you for this post. NOw I realise that we have a small Japanese maple in our garden. I never knew what it was. It's not a native tree, because I have never seen it in the wild, but is very beautiful and decorative.

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  25. Hello Yoko!
    I'm not surprised you are drawn to these beautiful trees.The foliage is quite magnificent.The last image looks like an abstract painting,subtle and intricate!
    Have a lovely week,
    Ruby

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  26. I'm fairly sure we have sweet gum trees here in north central Florida ... or something like them.

    Your photos are lovely and I appreciated very much the commentary.

    I was going to tell you that one of our neighbors in Japanese. She and her husband moved in fairly recently. We were at her house for a little get-together and she served a variety of Japanese food. It was wonderful!

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  27. I don't know the maple-like tree at all. Maybe they grow further south. Our leaves have mainly fallen. It is nice to see the bright colours from your part of the world.

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  28. If I saw the tree,American sweetgums, I thought it was maple tree by the leaves. I'll be able to recognize the difference from now on. Thank you for sharing these photos.

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  29. very much similar with maple tree. beautiful pictures taken by you Yoko.

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  30. Particularly impressive are the colors that nature creates in his life and death, as seen in your beautiful images.
    Thank you,
    Beatriz

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  31. OIEEE !!! EU TENHO O GOOGLE TRADUTOR SIM, ELE ESTÁ BEM NO INÍCIO DO BLOG NO LADO DIREITO...LOGO ABAIXO DO "CACHORRO QUE LAMBE O VIDRO"...ABRAÇOS JANE

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  32. My beloved friend Yoko
    Your photos are fantastic!!!
    Thank you so much for informations!!!
    I love the Japanese maple!!!
    Wonderful transformations!
    Best regards to all family
    Many kisses

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  33. Hi Yoko
    Love your photos. Autumn colours are so lovely, aren't they! I also like your summer photo. Gorgeous green :).
    Hope you are having a nice week, Evelyn

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  34. Piękne zdjęcia. Liście są faktycznie podobne do klonu, ale nie te owoce. Pozdrawiam

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  35. Gorgeous automn colors...
    Greetings from France,

    Pierre

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  36. I love the shape and Fall color of both the Maple and the Sweet Gum. They add such loveliness to any landscape. Beautiful photos of Fall. Have a wonderful weekend. Mickie ;)

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  37. Hi & Greetings to you. I chanced upon your blog and your wonderful post on American gum tree leaves and Japanese maple leaves greeted me. Fantastic pics & very professional.The last one was very colorful fiery awesome. Have a great weekend.

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  38. Came once again to view the magnificient colors... Just feel such a calm on watching the beautiful colors of nature...
    Thanks for sharing the pics Yoko, hope you Have a fabulous week ahead:)

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  39. Beautiful! I love the different shades of the red leaves.

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  40. Great photos. I learned I was a sweet gum tree name. Maybe I'm confused in the past this tree under the name of a Japanese maple. I admire these trees. I really have a beautiful colored leaves. Pretty tvarované.. / ...Velmi thank you for your comment. Dark street, I photographed a handheld high ISO. Now it is dark early, so I want to do some photography. Twilight, darkness and light attracts me more than color. I send you many greetings in a distant and beautiful country of Japan.

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  41. what a stunning photography!!
    i'm impressed.
    it's really hard to pick a favourite.

    i love your blog!

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