Acer palmatumAcer palmatum

  • BOTANICAL NAME: Acer palmatum
  • PRONUNCIATION: A-cer pal-MA-tum
  • COMMON NAME: Japanese Maple
  • FAMILY: Aceraceae
  • NATIVITY: Japan
  • GROWTH HABIT: Compact, rounded form with single or multistemmed trunks; 8'-35' tall varies with cultivar. Medium to fast growth in youth, slower with age.
  • HARDINESS: Zones 5-8
  • CULTURE: Full sun for leaf coloration of cultivars but tolerates partial shade. Moist, well-drained soil. Frost damage to new spring foliage can occur.
  • LANDSCAPE USE: Focal point specimen. Architectural, sculptural trees.
  • FOLIAGE: Opposite, simple, 2"-4" long; deeply lobed and sometimes seemingly palmately compound. Color varies with cultivar, green to red. Fall color can be yellow, red or purple depending on cultivar.
  • BUDS: Lacking true terminal bud. Paired, valvately scaled, small buds are surrounded at the base by a row of hairs.
  • BARK: Young stems variously colored, older stems light gray in color.
  • FRUIT: Samara ½" - ¾" long, green or reddish in color.
  • PROPAGATION: Difficult to root; cultivars are normally grafted. Relatively easy from seed.
  • PESTS: None serious.
  • Location


University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153