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Acer palmatum is often confused with:
Hibiscus acetosella Hibiscus acetosella
Native alternative(s) for Acer palmatum:
Acer glabrum Acer glabrum var. diffusum
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Acer maximowiczianum Acer maximowiczianum habit
Amelanchier laevis Form
Amelanchier x grandiflora Amelanchier x grandiflora full

Japanese Maple Cultivars Acer palmatum

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Acer decompositum Dippel
  • Acer formosum Carrière
  • Acer friederici-guillelmii Carr
  • Acer jucundum Carrière
  • Acer ornatum Carrière
  • Acer pinnatifidum Dippel
  • Acer pulverulentum Dippel
  • Acer ribesifolium Dippel
  • Acer roseomarginatum (Van Houtte) Koidz.
  • Acer sessilifolium Siebold & Zucc.
  • Negundo sessilifolium (Siebold & Zucc.) Miq.
Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser pahl-MAY-tum
Description

The Japanese maple is a short tree of the Sapindaceae family native to eastern Asia, noted for having many aesthetically pleasing forms. Weeping as well as upright varieties exist and the species is well noted for its beautiful deep red and orange summer color that deepens into the fall. (for weeping varieties see: Acer palmatum 'dissectum').

Leaves are 2 to 5 in., opposite, and simple with 5 to 9 lobes.  Most are deeply lobed. Their color varies from green during summer to yellow, bronze, purple to red fall color (however, color varies with cultivar). Prized specimen tree in landscape. One of the more versatile maple species for landscape uses. Young leaves of this species are sensitive to frost and are not drought tolerant. Most cultivars are grafted and can be grown as a single or multi-stemmed small tree. They may suffer leaf scorch with excess sun, wind, or drought.

This tree is mildly resistant to damage by deer.

Growth Rate: Slow to moderate

Form: Low; dense, rounded top; spreading branches; assumes a layered look

Texture: Medium to fine

Site: Light, dappled shade; evenly moist, well-drained soil; protect from drying winds

Native Range:  Southwest Korea, Central & South Japan.

Quick ID Hints:

*Leaves 5-7 lobed, serrate

*Leaves concolorous, green to red

Small deciduous tree to 25'. TWIGS slender, green to red, often glaucous bloom 

Buds: small, green, hidden by petiole base; terminal often doubled. 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Bloodgood' - grafted plant
  • 'Burgundy Lace' - grafted plant
  • 'Higasayama' - grafted plant (pink leaf margins)
  • 'Moonfire' - grafted plant
  • 'Novum' - grafted plant
  • 'Redleaf'
  • 'Sango Kaku' - grafted plant (coral twigs)
Tags:
#purple#red#deciduous#fall color#orange#shrub#purple leaves#tree#maple#red leaves#bonsai#yellow leaves#tsc#understory tree#playground#dappled shade#cpp#samara#bronze leaves#children's garden#bird friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Bloodgood' - grafted plant
  • 'Burgundy Lace' - grafted plant
  • 'Higasayama' - grafted plant (pink leaf margins)
  • 'Moonfire' - grafted plant
  • 'Novum' - grafted plant
  • 'Redleaf'
  • 'Sango Kaku' - grafted plant (coral twigs)
Tags:
#purple#red#deciduous#fall color#orange#shrub#purple leaves#tree#maple#red leaves#bonsai#yellow leaves#tsc#understory tree#playground#dappled shade#cpp#samara#bronze leaves#children's garden#bird friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    palmatum
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia: Japan, China, Korea, eastern Mongolia, southeastern Russia
    Wildlife Value:
    Small song birds are attracted to this plant.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Pieces Used in Games
    Sound
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wind Shimmer
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This tree is mildly resistant to damage by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Dense
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Schizocarp
    Fruit Description:
    A schizocarp of two samaras, wings incurved forming an arch, becoming reddish.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are small and red to purple. They are attractive if viewed closely but insignificant from a distance.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are 2 to 5 in., opposite, and simple with 5 to 9 lobes. Most are deeply lobed. Their color varies from green during summer to yellow, bronze, purple to red fall color (however, color varies with cultivar).
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Green
    Light Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Young stems vary from green to polished reddish brown. Older branches assume a gray cast.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Glabrous, slender, usually green to red. Tremendous variation in stem color with green leaf trees green to reddish purple, red leaf trees often bright red to blood red to reddish purple. Exceptions arise. Frequently double terminal buds hidden by the base of the petiole.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Children's Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Understory Tree
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Wind