ACER continued
last updated 10/12/2017

ACER palmatum 'Beni gasa'
A rare broad, shrubby tree. The young growth is "brown", which is better than it sounds when contrasted with the bright lime-green mid vein and petioles. The leaves are deeply divided giving a very graceful effect. The name actually means "woven with golden strings" which refers to the delightful autumn colours of gold with overtones of crimson. 2-3m This is not one that we propagate regularly because to my taste there are better culitvars.

ACER palmatum 'Beni hagoromo' 
In Japanese maples, the word "Beni" in the name means "red". Hence, this one translates as Red Japanese Angel's Robe - a wonderful name though I'm not sure that it really conveys the character of the plant. 'Beni hagoromo' and its green equivalent ('Hagoromo') are very distinctive, with each deeply divided (shaggy almost, nothing like a dissectum) feather-like leaf attached directly to the stem, with no petiole. Young growth emerges glossy red before evolving with shades of brownish purple. As with all palmatums of this impossible-to-describe colour group, light levels will heavily influence foliage colour. This can be seen even through the same plant, with more red clearly evident in the outer leaves, greening as they become shaded within the framework of the plant. Very upright in habit, it will gain height comparatively quickly before it fills out with maturity. Expect some 2-3m in height by little more than a metre wide.

ACER palmatum 'Beni kagami' 
"Red mirror" Vigorous when young, slowing as it develops; with long pendulous shoots cascading almost to the ground. Deeply divided leaves with incised lobes, open purple red, becoming brown red in summer, then crimson in autumn. An excellent plant which gives good effect rapidly. 3-4m

ACER palmatum 'Beni kawa'
Winter bark colour is such an important feature in the garden to extend the season. The coral coloured bark is reminiscent of Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku', but ultimately it shouldn't get quite so large though it has just as much vigour as a young plant. For us here, this cultivar gives the most orangey red autumn colours compared to the other coral bark maples, despite the photo which just happens to show it in a yellow phase! 3m 
See it in our Maple Glade.

ACER palmatum 'Beni komachi' 
"The beautiful, red haired little girl" The leaves are smallish but with a longer central lobe. Bright pinky-red new growth deepens to rich purple and back to scarlet for the autumn.  Excellent for bonsai or garden. Dwarf to 1.5-2m. We have this in the collection still, but we're no longer propagating it as it is too delicate to grow outside in our conditions.

ACER palmatum 'Beni maiko' 
"Red, a dancing girl" Alphabetically the first of several similar cultivars featuring brilliant scarlet pink young leaves. How these mature will depend on light levels, with the intense pink shades being best maintained in good light (not necessarily full sun though, as discussed in the general information preceding the Acer palmatum listing). In more shady conditions, the leaves will fade to greenish red with prominent red veins. Twiggy habit to 2m, so it is equally well suited to container culture and garden.

ACER palmatum 'Beni ôtake' 
This cultivar has been described as "bamboo like" due to the long, narrow, almost finger like leaves, which open bright red before becoming deep purple through the summer, giving it a very graceful appearance. An upright plant, originally from Oregon, USA it has become one of my favourites. The red autumn colour positively glows; it really is wonderful. (The photo shows autumn colour, but to be honest it's not that different in early spring.) Expect a vase shaped habit to 3-4m. In my experience this cultivar dislikes pure heat, so (provided it doesn't dry out in summer) it's great in a more open site where the leaves move so beautifully in the wind.
See it in our Maple Glade.

ACER palmatum 'Beni shi en'
I'm very taken with this one, whose name translates to "red smoke". The deeply divided strap-like leaves change colour apparently continuously through the season. Starting rosy red, changing to purple and then green with a conspicuous paler midrib. Notable for its heat tolerance, these colours are held well even in full sun, becoming pink in late summer before long lasting golden autumn colours. Altogether a very satisfactorily behaved small tree of upright habit, although slow growing when very young. 3m.
See it in our Maple Glade.

ACER palmatum 'Beni shichihenge' 
"Red and changeful" Evidently the Japanese found it difficult to describe as well! Simplest described, I think, as a bit like 'Butterfly' but with lots of wonderful salmon-orange! 2-3m. Another one that we are no longer regularly propagating as it requires a more sheltered site than we are able to provide.

ACER palmatum 'Beni shigitatsu sawa'
I love this Reticulatum group. The 7 lobed leaves are deeply divided with prominent veining. The young growth is a vibrant pink, becoming more green and white. The pinky red autumn colours are quite stunning as the veining becomes more defined again. Broad and shrubby in habit. The exact colours will be determined by light levels - more purple tones in open, sunnier sites. 2-3m. There are a number of other cultivars in this group which are very similar or better. eg 'Kasagiyama'.

ACER palmatum 'Beni tsukasa' 
Another beauty that is so hard to describe! Very similar to the 'Corallinum' group, the bright pinkish young growth is slightly more at the orange end of that colour spectrum in an open position. As with the rest of the group, it will be much more muted in heavy shade. In autumn it develops tones of orange-red and yellow-red. Small leaves and twiggy habit. 2-3m.

ACER palmatum 'Beni ubi gohon' 
Although typical of the linearilobum group with its very narrow, finger like leaves, this delightful cultivar is unique. The small leaves open bronze red, tinged green at the base, quickly becoming a rich purple red. A dwarf plant to less than 2m. 

Hmm...the problem is that the plant I have doesn't seem to tally with that description! Mine is very beautiful, and I like it enormously, but as you can see from the photo, it is not a linearilobum! The colours tally though, so to be totally honest with you, I'm really not sure what this one is...

ACER palmatum 'Berry Dwarf'
A delightful dwarf of upright habit which we acquired from Australia. Very much a classic palmatum in leaf shape and colour, it is pleasantly vigorous when young. Excellent orange autumn colours. 1m

ACER palmatum 'Bi hô'
This comparatively recent introduction has almost instantly become a favourite. It has fabulous winter bark colour that is much more orangey yellow than the coral pinks. It is much smaller growing and quite upright in overall habit too, making it a fabulous choice for year round interest in a more confined space. Summer leaf colour is essentially green, though the leaves are often edged with bronze. Autumn colours go through a kaleidoscope of change, typically majoring on shades of orange. 
See it in our Winter Garden and Maple Glade.

ACER palmatum 'Bloodgood'
An excellent purple form which holds its colour well through the summer in all but the driest places. Unusually free fruiting, the red wings of the seeds contrast well with the dark leaves. Narrow upright habit. 5m. 

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