Skip to content

Acer Japonicum Series

Acer Japonicum Part #1

Acer Japonicum 'Mai kujaku'

'Mai kujaku’ is an upright japonicum cultivar. Trees from the japonicum species have many of the same characteristics as palmatum though they are often exaggerated. This is the case with ‘Mai kujaku’ as the flowers are larger and more prominently displayed. In the early spring the larger deep red blooms contrast greatly with the bright green leaves.
The leaf shape is very large and has long exaggerated fern-like lobes. The tree maintains a beautiful deep green coloration through the summer. During autumn ‘Mai kujaku’ blasts off with an amazing spectrum of color. The deep green leaves start to develop a brilliant “fire engine red” border. This color eventually overtakes the entire leaf in a dramatic form as the tree goes through magnificent shades of red and orange. ‘Mai kujaku’ means dancing peacock. 'Mai kujaku' is often sold in the nursery trade as 'Aconitifolium' or a "fern leaf" or "full moon" maple tree.
It is easy to see this beautiful analogy as the fall colors start to show over the long lobes. The habit of this tree is upright and often multi-branching. This tree reaches 15 feet in 20 years. ‘Mai kujaku’ is a striking cultivar that will add an amazing presence to anywhere it is planted.

Acer Japonicum 'Gossamer'

'Gossamer' was found as a chance seedling by one of our good friends, Billy Schwartz, under a large Acer japonicum at the original Red Maple Nursery in Lima, Pennsylvania. The leaf color on this laceleaf japonicum is almost a silver color in the spring, maturing to green. The heavily dissected leaves are lacier than any other Acer japonicum. Many believe this full moon selection to be a hybrid with an Acer palmatum dissectum. 'Gossamer' is an extremely dwarf and slow growing weeping full moon Japanese maple. 'Gossamer' is excellent for containers, conifer troughs, or fairy gardens.
We had the privilege of seeing the original 'Gossamer' seedling, which is much smaller and slower growing than grafts off of it.

Acer Japonicum 'Green Cascade'

This interesting japonicum Japanese maple was found by Art Wright in 1973 and has become a very popular tree in the nursery trade for both leaf shape and form. In early spring, ‘Green Cascade’ has bright green foliage that compliments the heavily dissected leaf. This intricate leaf structure gives a very lacy delicate look to this very hardy easy to grow tree.
The shape of 'Green Cascade' is very full and mounding as it reaches around 6 ft in height and similar in width. In the autumn, ‘Green Cascade’ Japanese maple explodes in the garden with flashes of deep reds and yellows and oranges.
This is a great choice for container growing or small garden areas with the need for big time color. Acer japonicum 'Green Cascade' Full Moon Japanese maple will bring a peaceful lacy appeal to your garden while having all the great fall color Acer japonicums are famous for.

 Acer Japonicum Part #2

Acer Japonicum 'Rising Sun'

'Rising Sun’ is one of the largest leaf full moon Japanese maple selections. The leaves can be dinner plate in their size, creating a unique texture in the landscape. In the early spring these large green leaves are accentuated by small red tassel flowers may hang from the branches. This flower display becomes more prominent on older specimens. These large green leaves really look tropical and add drama as they blow in the wind. ‘Ring Sun’ adds to this drama in the fall when it turns shades of yellow, orange, and red. It sometimes turns all 3 at the same time, giving a lot of dynamic color in the garden. ‘Rising Sun’ may 8-10 ft in 15 years. Give ‘Rising Sun’, morning sun with protection from the hot afternoon sun to maximize leaf shape and growth rate with this Acer japonicum selection. ‘Rising Sun’ makes a great fall color, specimen, or focal point planting. Pair ‘Rising Sun’ with selections like ‘Kiyohime’ or ‘Hime shojo’ for dynamic texture and shape contrast. These selections have smaller leaves and a rounded habit, providing a sharp contrast for the taller structure iand huge leaves of Acer japonicum ‘Rising Sun’.

Acer Japonicum 'Fairy Lights'

Everyone loves the phenomenal fall colors of this Acer japonicum species. Intense fall colors that hold on for a few weeks longer than most Acer palmatums is why the Japanese often use the Acer japonicum in the landscape for fall color. Typically, most japonicum cultivars are a larger mid-sized tree. 'Fairy Lights' is a true dwarf growing slowly to reach about 5 ft by 4 ft in 10 years. 'Fairy Lights' is a selection from Yasmina Rare Plant Nursery in Australia.
In the early spring, this dwarf unfolds its buds to reveal large bright green leaves that have a chartreuse colored eye in the palm of the leaf which radiates outward through the veins of each lobe. The leaves are heavily dissected, even more so than most typical Japanese maples making this tree remarkably ornamental.
The name 'Fairy Lights' is aptly used for this selection because of its dwarf stature and its fall color of bright yellows, shocking reds, and rich oranges that infuse the leaf all at once. Protection from the hot afternoon sun will increase the length of this display of colors in autumn. Because of its size and shape and slow growth, 'Fairy Lights' is ideal for small planting in the landscape, fairy gardens, rock and conifer gardens, and container planting.

Acer Japonicum 'Emmett's Pumpkin'

A well-named maple for shape and color, this large leaf Acer japonicum ‘Emmett’s Pumpkin’ will make your fall landscape look amazing. ‘Emmett’s Pumpkin’ is typically around 12-15 ft in 20 years. In the early spring, ‘Emmett’s Pumpkin’ leafs out with tones of reddish orange over the light green leaves.
As summer begins, the leaf color becomes a more uniform bold green. In the fall, the name does not disappoint. The giant leaves of 'Emmett's Pumpkin' transform to deep orange with flashes of red letting everyone know that the fall season has arrived in style.

Acer Japonicum 'Abby's Weeping'

In the spring, 'Abby's Weeping' leafs out with large deeply divided green leaves. This weeping laceleaf full moon maple has a delicate appearance but is a hardy tree in the landscape. 'Abby's Weeping' turns purple, orange, and red in the fall putting on a great display. 'Abby's Weeping' is a small low growing Japanese maple with a weeping habit. 'Abbey's Weeping' may reach 2-3 ft in height by 3-4 ft in width in 10 years. This makes 'Abbey's Weeping' an excellent tree for small spaces. Give 'Abby's Weeping' protection from the hot afternoon sun in most climates.

Acer Japonicum 'Indian Summer'

'Indian Summer' is a spectacular full moon Japanese maple that has large green leaves that can be the size of dinner plates. New growth flushes during the summer can be a pink-red which show up well over the large dark green foliage. Fall colors are bright yellows infused with oranges and red. 'Indian Summer' may reach 8-10 ft in 15 years. 


Acer Japonicum Part #3

Acer Japonicum 'Oregon Fern'

'Oregon Fern' is a weeping selection of full moon maple that can reach 6 ft in height by 6 ft in width in 10 years. The green lace leaves on this Acer japonicum are frilly in appearance, giving an extremely ornamental appeal. In the fall, 'Oregon Fern' turns to bright yellows, oranges, and reds, often starting with outside of the leaf working the mirage of colors inward.
'Oregon Fern' is a laceleaf selection that was selected and introduced by J.D. Vertrees who wrote the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd edition of Japanese Maples.

Acer Japonicum 'Vitifolium'

'Vitifolium' is a full moon Japanese maple that has large rounded green leaves that are exceptionally beautiful. The leaves are so large, 'Vitifolium' is sometimes referred to as the "grape vine" maple. 'Vitifolium' makes a large tree reaching 20 ft in height and width with a sturdy well branched structure. Fall color can range from yellow to bright orange to fiery red.

Acer Japonicum 'Yama kage'

'Yama kage' is a full moon Japanese maple selection by the late Jim Schmidt. This selection has extremely large leaves and exceptional red fall color. 'Yama kage' translates as Mountain Shadows, which happens to be the name of the subdivision where Jim Schmidt lived.  'Yama kage' may reach up to 10-12 ft in height in 15 years. This is a great maple to add a big impact in fall color in the landscape.

Previous article Slender Silhouette | Cultivar Spotlight

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields