Acer palmatum var amoenum

8 Jun

Acer palmatum var amoenum (17/04/2015, Miyajima Island, Japan)

Acer palmatum var amoenum (17/04/2015, Miyajima Island, Japan)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: Early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 10m

Eventual Spread: 10m

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Sapindaceae

 Acer palmatum var amoenum is a slow growing variable deciduous small tree or large shrub with a dome shaped habit. Its mid green leaves are palmate with up to 9 acutely pointed lobes, up to 12cm long and 12cm across. Its leaves turn bright red in autumn before falling. Its bark is grey/ brown and smooth. Its small red flowers are small cymes with five purple sepals. Its fruit is a pair of winged samaras, each being up to 3cm long and ripening in autumn. Its root system is relatively compact for a plant of this size.

Acer palmatum var amoenum Leaf (17/04/2015, Miyajima Island, Japan)

Acer palmatum var amoenum Leaf (17/04/2015, Miyajima Island, Japan)

The   species,  Acer  palmatum,  commonly known as Japanese Maple or Smooth Japanese Maple, is native to Japan, Korea, China and south east Russia. In its native habitat it grows as an understory plant in woodlands.

The etymology of the binomial name Acer is derived from the classical Latin name for the Maple. Palmatum is from the Latin meaning ‘palm like’, in reference to the leaves.

Acer palmatum var amoenum Bark (17/04/2015, Miyajima Island, Japan)

Acer palmatum var amoenum Bark (17/04/2015, Miyajima Island, Japan)

The landscape architect may find Acer palmatum var amoenum useful as a small specimen tree, particularly in a sheltered position with light shade.

Ecologically, Acer palmatum var amoenum seeds provide food for some mammals and birds.

 Acer palmatum var amoenum prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil, although it prefers neutral to acid soil. It will not tolerate dry soils.

 Acer palmatum var amoenum requires little maintenance. Necessary pruning should be carried out during its dormant season.

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