Turn your home’s exterior into the envy of the neighborhood with Suntek Residential Landscape for you!

Turn your home’s exterior into the envy of the neighborhood with Suntek Residential Landscape for you!

Japanese Maple Varieties: A Comprehensive Guide

Japanese maple trees, scientifically known as Acer palmatum, are renowned for their stunning foliage and graceful form. These trees are native to Japan, Korea, and China and have become popular ornamental trees in gardens and landscapes worldwide. With their wide range of colors, leaf shapes, and growth habits, Japanese maple varieties offer endless possibilities for adding beauty and elegance to any outdoor space. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different Japanese maple varieties, their characteristics, and how to care for them.

1. Acer palmatum

Acer palmatum, commonly known as the Japanese maple, is the most well-known and widely cultivated species of Japanese maple. It is a small deciduous tree that typically grows up to 20-30 feet in height. The leaves of Acer palmatum are deeply lobed and come in a variety of colors, including red, green, purple, and variegated. This species is highly adaptable and can thrive in both full sun and partial shade, making it a popular choice for gardens and landscapes.

2. Acer japonicum

Acer japonicum, also known as the fullmoon maple, is another popular Japanese maple variety. It is a slow-growing tree that reaches a height of 15-25 feet. The leaves of Acer japonicum are larger and less deeply lobed compared to Acer palmatum. They typically turn vibrant shades of red, orange, or yellow in the fall. This variety prefers partial shade and well-drained soil.

3. Acer shirasawanum

Acer shirasawanum, commonly called the golden fullmoon maple, is prized for its stunning golden-yellow foliage. This variety is known for its larger leaves and slower growth rate. Acer shirasawanum prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It is a great choice for adding a pop of color to any garden or landscape.

4. Acer sieboldianum

Acer sieboldianum, also known as the Siebold’s maple, is a medium-sized tree that can reach a height of 20-30 feet. It has deeply lobed leaves that turn vibrant shades of orange and red in the fall. Acer sieboldianum prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. This variety is known for its excellent heat tolerance and is a great choice for warmer climates.

5. Acer palmatum var. dissectum

Acer palmatum var. dissectum, commonly known as the laceleaf maple or weeping maple, is a unique variety of Japanese maple. It is a small tree with cascading branches and finely dissected leaves. The leaves of Acer palmatum var. dissectum come in a variety of colors, including red, green, and variegated. This variety prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It is a popular choice for adding a dramatic touch to gardens and landscapes.

6. Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum

Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum, also known as the red Japanese maple, is a striking variety with deep red or purple foliage. It is a small to medium-sized tree that typically grows up to 15-25 feet in height. This variety prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. The red Japanese maple is highly valued for its vibrant color and is often used as a focal point in gardens and landscapes.

7. Acer palmatum var. matsumurae

Acer palmatum var. matsumurae, commonly called the red-leaf Japanese maple, is a popular variety known for its vibrant red foliage. It is a small to medium-sized tree that reaches a height of 15-25 feet. This variety prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. The red-leaf Japanese maple is a favorite among gardeners and landscapers for its stunning color and graceful form.

8. Acer palmatum var. osakazuki

Acer palmatum var. osakazuki, also known as the Emperor maple, is a large variety of Japanese maple that can reach a height of 20-30 feet. It has bright green leaves that turn vibrant shades of orange and red in the fall. Acer palmatum var. osakazuki prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. This variety is highly valued for its impressive size and stunning fall color.

9. Acer palmatum var. katsura

Acer palmatum var. katsura, commonly called the Katsura maple, is a small to medium-sized tree that typically grows up to 15-25 feet in height. It has green leaves that turn shades of yellow, orange, and red in the fall. Acer palmatum var. katsura prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. This variety is known for its beautiful fall color and delicate foliage.

10. Acer palmatum var. beni-maiko

Acer palmatum var. beni-maiko, also known as the red-haired dancing girl maple, is a compact variety of Japanese maple. It has deeply lobed leaves that emerge bright red in the spring, gradually turning green with red margins in the summer. In the fall, the foliage turns vibrant shades of red and orange. Acer palmatum var. beni-maiko prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. This variety is highly valued for its unique color-changing foliage.

11. Acer palmatum var. yezo-nishiki

Acer palmatum var. yezo-nishiki, commonly called the tricolor Japanese maple, is a small tree with variegated foliage. The leaves of this variety have a mix of green, white, and pink colors, creating a stunning display. Acer palmatum var. yezo-nishiki prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It is a popular choice for adding a touch of elegance and uniqueness to gardens and landscapes.

12. Acer palmatum var. koto-no-ito

Acer palmatum var. koto-no-ito, also known as the harp string maple, is a small to medium-sized tree that typically grows up to 15-25 feet in height. It has finely dissected leaves that resemble the strings of a harp. The foliage of Acer palmatum var. koto-no-ito comes in a variety of colors, including green, red, and variegated. This variety prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It is a unique choice for adding texture and interest to gardens and landscapes.

13. Acer palmatum var. orangeola

Acer palmatum var. orangeola, commonly called the orangeola Japanese maple, is a cascading variety with vibrant orange-red foliage. It is a small tree that typically grows up to 10-15 feet in height. Acer palmatum var. orangeola prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. This variety is highly valued for its weeping habit and stunning color.

Japanese maple varieties offer a wide range of options for adding beauty and elegance to gardens and landscapes. Whether you prefer vibrant reds, oranges, or yellows, or delicate variegated foliage, there is a Japanese maple variety to suit your taste. By choosing the right variety and providing proper care, you can enjoy the beauty of these trees for years to come.