ACER continued
last updated 19/10/2014


ACER palmatum 'Moonfire' 
Wonderful deep purple foliage. The colour is retained well all summer; indeed better in shadier sites than many purples. This was our favourite of this group last summer. It is so difficult to describe why this purple looked better than any other - yet it did! If Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' is too big for you, try this one! However, the lesser vigour can make it harder to please on trickier sites, particularly where it gets hot. If your site is not so ideal for Acers, maybe stick to 'Bloodgood'. 3m

ACER palmatum 'Mr Sun'
A little known (and almost undescribed) cultivar from the US, this one is growing on me. It has been very slow to grow away here, which supports the suggestion that it is unlikely to exceed 2m. The leaves are larger and more rounded than is typical of A. palmatum...leading me to wonder about A. shirasawanum influence in its genes perhaps? Apparently it was named in recognition of the resemblance of the slightly pointed-lobed leaves and a child's drawing of the sun with its rays; lime-green summer colour turns bright sunshine-yellow in autumn.

ACER palmatum 'Murasaki kiyohime' 
This was stunning this summer! The yellow green leaves have contrasting red margins and lobes when young. Slow growing to 1-1.25m and densely branched. Lovely yellow autumn colour. Superb.
Other similar cultivars include 'Mapi no machihime'.

ACER palmatum 'Mure hibari'
The leaves of this charming Maple have been described by one Japanese writer as "like a crystal of snow". I regret that my descriptions are less elegant. Almost dissectum-like in shape, the deeply divided leaves are green tinted with brick red at the edges when young. Yellow to crimson blends of autumn colour. An upright strong growing tree. 3-4m.

ACER palmatum 'Musashino'
Previously listed as Acer palmatum 'Nomura'. This ancient cultivar was introduced from Japan in 1896. It is fast growing shrubby tree to 8m by potentially as much wide in the end. The bold purple leaves are quite shiny, particularly when young. Good red autumn colour.

ACER palmatum 'Nishiki gawa'
Commonly known as the "Pine Bark Maple" after its corky, furrowed bark (photo right). Forms a well branched but upright, strong growing tree. Leaves much as the species in shape and colour. This description doesn't really do justice to an excellent plant which is perfect for more natural planting schemes and less ideal conditions. The autumn colours are truly outstanding too 5m (photo left). See also Acer palmatum 'Arakawa ukon' which is more compact.



ACER palmatum 'Nomura'

see Acer palmatum 'Musashino'

ACER palmatum 'Nuresagi' 
"The Wet Heron" is one of the more puzzling translations! A good deep purple giving lovely red autumn colours. Perhaps not the easiest to grow but superb colour for those endowed with good conditions. 2-3m

ACER palmatum '’ kagami'
An excellent purple cultivar which maintains colour well all summer and develops vivid scarlet autumn colours. The name means "the mirror" which reflects the intensity of colour of the almost shiny leaves. 3m

ACER palmatum '’gon sarasa' 
"Gold Calico Cloth" An American cultivar; the leaves unfold brick-red in the spring before turning bronze green in summer. The 7 lobed leaves are deeply divided. I love this group of ever changing subtle colours. I also enjoy the contrast of the dark leaves with bright green stems on this one. It's also a nice tidy, rather upright grower. 4m

ACER palmatum 'Okukuji nishiki'
A strikingly variegated upright plant. White and cream on a base of powdery green, often with whole leaves cream. New leaves are tinged pink. Very similar to Acer palmatum 'Butterfly', but somehow I prefer this one. 3m

ACER palmatum 'Okushimo' 
This is quite distinct due to the dark green leaves being quite stiff with each deeply divided lobe being rolled upward along its margins almost forming a tapering tube. Vigorous when young, forming an upright vase shaped plant to 4m but only 1.5m wide.

ACER palmatum 'Omato'
This is essentially a purple palmatum which fades (rather subtly actually) to green through summer. (I believe it is actually classified as a green...so perhaps it would be more correct to turn that round and say that it is a green-leaved palmatum with subtle purple overtones through the early season.) Lovely orange autumn colours. Simple, yet it is that very simplicity which makes it effective.

ACER palmatum 'Omureyama' 
A cascading broad headed small tree; the willowy pendulous branches form a curtain around the edge of the plant. Leaves are a bright green in summer, with spectacular crimson and gold autumn colours. A wonderful specimen plant; 3-5m x 4-5m in 20yrs.
Although the photograph in Vertrees book shows an impressive specimen, I am having real trouble with this cultivar and have all but given up on it in favour of Acer palmatum 'Autumn Showers'.

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