Skip to content

Mikawa Family Series

Mikawa Family Series Part #1

When we go visit nurseries, we often ask the nurserymen and women, "What is your favorite Japanese maple? 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is definitely the most popular answer. When the North American Branch of the Maple Society started the Maple of the Year Program, 'Mikawa yatsubusa' won the first award.
'Mikawa yatsubusa' is a tightly layering dwarf green Japanese maple. In the spring, the leaves are bright chartreuse green with a red sheath to the petiole. This makes this dwarf with a layering shingle-like habit extremely beautiful. 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is extremely slow growing and difficult to propagate. Fall color on 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is a bright fiery red in the fall color. 'Mikawa yatsubusa' may reach 4-5 ft in 15 years. 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is extremely heat tolerant and overall, a very hardy tree. 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is great for container plants, small places in the garden, fairy gardens, and conifer troughs.
We have an extremely old 'Mikawa yatsubusa' at my uncle's home at Hill Stone Arboretum which serves as one of our display gardens. It is one of the largest 'Mikawa yatsubusa' that I know of.

'Japanese Princess' is an exquisite new pink dwarf variant of Mikawa yatsubusa by Talon Buchholz. When this dwarf leafs out it can be from hot pink to coral depending on the year. The color fades to a green and turns to an bright red in the fall.  The layering habit gives it a nice texture as can be seen in the photo below. We expect 'Japanese Princess' to get 3-4 ft in 15 years.
'Koi' is a dwarf bronze Japanese maple from the "Mikawa Family". This dwarf has the same tight dense layering habit as its parent, but a bronze spring color. 'Koi' turns green during the summer with bronze highlights. 'Koi' may reach 3-4 ft in 10 years. In the autumn, 'Koi' turns to a bright orange.

'Mayday' is a new selection of a peach-orange to white variant of the ever popular 'Mikawa yatsubusa'. It has proven extremely difficult to propagate and we are excited to finally have these few available.
'Mayday' leafs out in the early spring as a peach-orange to white in early spring. The color is dramatic. As the colors begin to fade, 'Mayday' turns a beautiful blonde color which may even be more appealing than the early spring. By late summer 'Mayday' is a beautiful shade of chartreuse green. Like 'Mikawa yatsubusa', 'Mayday' has a tight layering habit and is extremely miniature in its growth. 'Mayday' is expected to reach 3 ft tall and 3 ft wide in 10 years. The shingle-like appearance makes this dwarf stand out among other trees and makes everyone want a 'Mayday' for their garden. 'Mayday' typically turns yellows to orange for us in the garden. It would not surprise me if 'Mayday' did turn red in the fall in some environments. Not many of these. Better act fast before they are gone. Only 1 gallons available and I doubt any will make it to three gallons before they are sold out.

Mikawa Family Series Part #2

'Lima Gold' is a treasure of a Japanese maple out of Lima, Pennsylvania, by Dick Wolff of Red Maple Nursery. 'Lima Gold' leafs out with small green foliage and an extremely dense habit. A 'Lima Gold' at one of our good friend's gardens in Wall, NJ, was about 4 ft tall and 5 ft wide in 10 years. Fall color starts out as a bright golden yellow turning an orange gold to red. 'Lima Gold' makes a great bonsai, an excellent container tree, or simply a great dwarf for that smaller space in your garden.
'Mystic Mikawa' is a brand new variant of the ever popular dwarf Mikawa yatsubusa that leafs out orange. The color fades to a green and turns to an orange red in the fall. We expect Mystic Mikawa to keep the dwarf tightly layered habit. I would expect 'Mystic Mikawa' to get 3-4 ft in 15 years. 'Mystic Mikawa' was found and introduced by Crispin Silva.
'Tattoo' is one of the smallest growing dwarf Japanese maples. 'Tattoo' has a tightly layering habit reaching 2 ft in height by 2-3 ft in width in 10 years. The leaf is more serrated than other "Mikawa-types". The chartreuse yellow-green leaves turn to darker green for the summer. 'Tattoo' turns to yellow to orange in the fall.  'Tattoo' was found and introduced by our good friend Billy Schwartz. 'Tattoo' is named after the character from Fantasy Island that would say,"De Plane! De Plane!". 'Tattoo is excellent for containers, small spaces or fairy gardens. While there is a "Kiyohime-type" with the same name, this is the more desired and exceptional tree for your garden.
We are really happy to offer this exciting new variegated form of ‘Mikawa yatsubusa’. Acer palmatum ‘Lily Pad’ is a sport found on ‘Mikawa yatsubusa’ and retains that nice dense habit that makes it so popular. Tight dense foliage makes for a perfect platform for this swirling variegation. We have found ‘Lily Pad’ to be extremely stable in its variegation. ‘Lily Pad’ was found at Don Schmidt Nursery and named for its low flat shape. The overall habit is rounded, like a lily pad. We estimate ‘Lily Pad’ to reach around 3 ft in height by 4 ft in width in 10 years making this an awesome dwarf selection. When I first got this tree, I was really blown away by how elongated and swirling the foliage is. The leaf shape gives ‘Lily Pad’ a very unique, regal and elegant quality to it. It’s a mikawa with a ruffle and stable variegation! It makes my heart skip a beat! I think you will really enjoy this new dwarf Japanese maple in your garden. If you are an experienced collector who enjoys the "Mikawa Family Collection" or a novice just getting into gardening this new tree is going to be a must! Whether it’s in the ground or a pot this one is going to be a show stopper in your collection!
Mikawa Family Series Part #3

'Seiun kaku' has a tightly layering habit, which makes the leaves look like shingles on a roof. This appearance makes 'Seiun kaku' look like a more vigorous form of 'Mikawa yatsubusa'. The chartreuse green foliage in the spring turns to a darker green by the summer. Fall color on 'Seiun kaku' is a bright fiery red. In a container, 'Seiun kaku' is a small slower growing dwarf, while in the ground, 'Seiun kaku' may reach 8-10 ft in 15 years.
'Seiun kaku' is a newly imported maple from Japan, which made its way to the USA around 2008, 'Seiun kaku' is a selection from the Kansai district in Japan that was introduced in 1974. According to the 4th edition of Japanese maples, 'Seiun kaku' translates as "blue-green palace in the clouds".
'Taro yama' is an exceptional dwarf Japanese maple with a unique dense habit. The thick branching and twisting dark blue-green leaves give a pleasing texture in the landscape or garden. Due the miniature habit of 'Taro yama', this dwarf Japanese maple is excellent for containers or small spaces. In the autumn, the leaves of 'Taro yama' turn to an electric and fiery crimson red. In 15 years, 'Taro yama' may reach 4-5 ft in height and width.
Mikawa Family Series Part #4

Acer Palmatum 'Mikawa Kaen'

'Mikawa kaen’ is an exciting new Mikawa type from Cripsin Silva, who also introduced 'Mystic Mikawa'. 'Mikawa kaen' displays a unique golden bronze spring color with the tight layering habit that makes the Mikawa Family Collection so desired. In the fall 'Mikawa kaen' has turned orange to red in the cold frames at the nursery and we would expect this to be similar in the landscape. 'Mikawa kaen', which translates as "Mikawa Gold", is expected to reach 3-5 ft in height in 10 years. It is definitely a slow grower, making it excellent for small gardens, containers, or to be trained as bonsai.

Acer Palmatum 'Tom Thumb'

Acer Palmatum 'Catalina Yatsubusa'

'Catalina yatsubusa' is a newer selection of variegated form of Mikawa yatsubusa. New growth has irregular variegation on thinner pointer leaves. Yellow to lime green variegation borders the new growth with irregular blotches of dark green. Older growth can display dark centers to the leaves with lighter green tips. These older growth have leaves shaped similar to 'Mikawa yatsusubsa'. 'Catalina yatsubusa' has the dense tightly layering habit that looks almost like shingles on a roof. This creates a fluffy like appearance that is quite attractive. 'Catalina' has a more upright form than other 'Mikawa yatsubusa' selections. We expect' Catalina yatsubusa' to reach 5-6 ft in height by 4 ft in width in 10 years. Fall color on 'Catalina yatsubusa' can range from orange to red.

Acer Palmatum 'Angel the Prince'


Previous article Slender Silhouette | Cultivar Spotlight

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields