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Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'

Common Name(s):
Fernleaf full moon maple, Fernleaf maple, Full moon maple
Shrubs, Trees

'Aconitifolium' is a dwarf, mounded, deciduous multi-stemmed shrub or small tree which typically grows slowly to 8-10' tall. It works well as a specimin or in small groups as understory plant with striking fall color.  Features palmate, almost fern-like medium green leaves which are deeply divided. These leaves turn crimson in fall.  Before leaves appear in the spring you will notice small, attractive reddish flowers that give way to samaras (winged fruit) wich ripen in late summer to early fall. While the flowers are lovely close up they will not be noticed when looking at your landscape from a distance. 

It grows well in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Plants prefer cool summer conditions.  Young trees should be staked to promote more erect growth. Plants perform poorly south of USDA Zone 7.

Insect, Disease, and Other Problems: This plant suffers from no serious insect or disease problems but can host aphids, scale, borers, mites, and caterpillars.  Plants are occasionally susceptible to verticillium wilt, leaf spots, root rots, anthracnose, collar rot and stem canker.  Protect from late frosts as foliage tends to leaf out early in spring and may be damaged.

8-10 feet
Deep green in summer; orange-red fall color; leaves tend to persist into winter
Maroon flowers on long stalks appear in April. Flowers are followed by winged samaras (to 1” long) which ripen in late summer to early fall.
Sun to partial shade but protect from harsh summer sun. Protect from harsh winds. Prefers moist, well-drained soil
Medium to fine
Rounded; spreading
8-10 feet
Growth Rate:
Slow to moderate
Opposite, simple palmate fern-like leaves 3-6" across, with reddish petioles; 7 to 13 acuminate, toothed and cut, ovate to lance-shaped lobes.; deep green in summer; bright yellow
small tree, deciduous, understory tree, fall color, fall interest

NCCES plant id: 1880

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' habit
Line1, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' leaves and seeds
A. Barra, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' fall color
SB_Johnny, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' leaves in fall
Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' leaves
J.C. Raulston Arboretum
Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' leaves
J.C. Raulston Arboretum