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Weird & Abnormal Japanese Maples

Weird Japanese Maples Part #1

Acer palmatum Koyamadani Nishiki

Known as the Snowflake Japanese maple, as it's branches mature 'Koyamadani nishiki' leafs out with green rounded leaves edged slightly in purple red. While young leaves may show pointed lobes, as the tree matures each lobe on every leaf becomes heavily rounded giving each leaf the appearance of a green snow flake. By mid-late spring this border leaves, but this leaf shape continues.

This gives this upright Japanese maple a very soft appearance. Found as an Iroha momiji (matsumurae) seedling in the Shiga prefecture in Japan, this snowflake maple has an upright but semi-pendulous habit reaching 10ft in about 10 years. In autumn, this Snowflake maple will electrify your garden with colors of bright golden yellow accented in splotches of orange. This Japanese maple maple was imported into the United States in the fall of 2008 and is just now making it to the market. Here is your chance to get a really unique and rare Japanese maple.

Acer palmatum Verkade's Jacus Potus

Acer palmatum 'Verkade's Jacus Potus' is a brand new introduction that leafs out with deep burgundy feather-like leaves fading to a green with hints of peach and apricot. The secondary flush of growth changes to shades of pink-red to salmon creating a unique color contrast with the older growth. In the fall, 'Verkade's Jacus Potus' turns to a bright crimson.

This selection was found by Dave Verkade as a chance seedling and named after a nickname for his daughter. We attained this cultivar from Dave himself and fell instantly in love. There are few selections with this feather-type leaf structure and this is a much desired tree. It is similar to the appearance of an upright laceleaf, which gives a graceful look to a dwarf to mid-sized tree.

Little is known about the mature height of this tree as this is such a new introduction. We would estimate that this tree could reach around 8-10 ft in 15 years, although it could end up being much smaller. 'Verkade's Jacus Potus' is great selection with unique characteristics. It is sure to add beauty to your landscape while adding rarity to your exceptional garden.

Acer palmatum Gable's Glory

'Gable's Glory' is perhaps one of the most striking Japanese maples in the nursery trade today. The spring color can range from a pink-red to a bright cherry red. As this chameleon-like selection's leaves mature, they mature to a glowing orange-yellow. This glowing color is quite striking and makes for a very colorful summer color. New growth during the summer is a bright pink-red to cherry red. We received this selection years ago from Del Loucks, who stated this colorful Japanese maple was found by Larry Gable. Give 'Gable's Glory' morning sun, with a little protection from the hot afternoon sun for best color. We expect 'Gable's Glory to reach 10-12 ft in height in 15 years.

Acer palmatum Beni Hagoromo

'Beni hagoromo' is a recent introduction from Japan. It leafs out in the early spring with a bright red sessilifolium leaf. This leaf style is heavily divided making each lobe have the appearance of a red feather giving this upright tree a graceful look.
The leaf turns to a deep maroon by mid-spring where it get's its name. "Beni" translates as red, translating this tree as the red version of the cultivar 'Hagoromo'. As the summer approaches, this very heat tolerant cultivar turns to a green with red highlights. During the fall, 'Beni hagoromo' turns to a bright scarlet red. The shape of the tree is vase-like reaching about 15 ft in 20 years.

Acer palmatum Shiraname

‘Shiraname’ is a very old and rare cultivar. This amazing tree goes through a wide spectrum of beautiful color changes. In the early spring, ‘Shiriname’ leafs out with a very bright red and then changes into a bright yellow through the summer. The new growth continues to have bright red over yellow undertones which make for a truly amazing contrast. The fall color for ‘Shiraname’ ranges from peach to bright orange. This cultivar is upright but has a dense bushy habit. This is a very striking cultivar that will make an amazing contribution to your yard.



Weird Japanese Maples Part #2

Acer palmatum Purple Curl

A few years ago, when we went to visit Talon Buchholz, Talon gifted us his brand new selection he calls ‘Purple Curl’. Yes, this one is not found on the market yet. It has a curling and twisting red to green-red leaf, with a malting colored variegation. The leaves show some Acer shirasawanum influence, but Talon states that the mother plant on ‘Purple Curl’ was an Acer palmatum. Fall color is bright fiery red. Give ‘Purple Curl’ protection from the hot afternoon sun. I would expect a 6-8 ft tree in 10 years, but ‘Purple Curl’ is brand new and this description may change the more we evaluate ‘Purple Curl’. Be one of the first with this brand new selection. 

Acer palmatum Pink Princess

‘Pink Princess’ is a new dwarf compact selection of Japanese maple with a variegated leaf. There are very few variegated brooms in the plant world, and this is the first variegated broom on a maple that we know of.
This new selection was found as a broom on ‘Beni shichihenge’ and selected by our good friend, Carl Munn. We had the honor and privilege to be able to get this tree first, evaluate it, and name this tree ‘Pink Princess’. ‘Pink Princess’ leafs out in the spring with pink margined variegation on a green leaf. During the summer, the pink fades to white. ‘Pink Princess’ appears to be a vigorous dwarf globe reaching 4 ft in height by 4 ft in width in 10 years. Give it protection from the hot afternoon sun to keep the pink spring color longer into the season. Fall color on ‘Pink Princess’ is orange to red.

Acer palmatum Okushimo

Okushimo is a very unusual upright green Japanese maple. This Japanese maple tree has a light green leaf and the edges curl upright creating a unique look. The growth habit is upright and forms a great vase shape that can be very useful in the landscape. The fall color ranges from yellow to deep orange. The tree is vigorous and grows well in sun or shade. The height can reach up to 20 feet over time and even at maturity retains the great narrow vase-like shape.
The name ‘Okushimo’ means “salt and pepper”. This is a very old Japanese maple cultivar that is under used because people are not informed about it. The unusual leaf structure and great color make ‘Okushimo’ a very complimentary addition when planted next to other cultivars or used as focal point planting. Plant this Japanese maple in your landscape for that beautiful conversation piece all your garden visitors will be talking about.

Acer palmatum Peve Starfish

Introduced by Piet Vergeldt, this maple is truly unique. In fact, "Peve" is a combination with his name which Piet uses for many of his introductions. 'Peve Starfish' forms a mid-sized dwarf reaching 6-8 ft in 20 years. Its small stature and its unique leaves that cup downward give the appearance of a "starfish".

Peve Starfish leafs out as a bright red in the early spring maturing to a deep maroon. New growth flushes are again a bright red. In the autumn, 'Peve Starfish' will light up your landscape turning to a bright crimson red. This is one of our favorites of these new selections.

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