This week we’re profiling Acer palmatum var. – Japanese Maple.
The ACER palmatum features a red tip to the 5 lobed leaves that lasts all season. It provides a contrast to the deep and lush green leaves of summer, creating a sense of depth to the appearance that is somewhat beguiling. Those palmate leaves then turn, at first to yellow, progressing through orange hue before a crescendo of brightest red arrives in mid-Autumn. Suited to home gardens and feature planting, this Japanese Maple adds something different to most landscapes and can provide a needed human scale when surrounded by larger trees.
Above: Attractive specimen of Acer palmatum – Japansese Maple at Queenstown Gardens
ACER palmatum ‘Orangeola’ – Weeping Japanese Maple, 35lt grade at 1.5m+, (approx 5-6 years old)
One of the most beautiful and highly sought after Japanese Maples, the ACER palmatum ‘Orangeola’ manages to outdo even other maples for leaf colour. The bright-orange red of spring sparkles in the sunlight. Then, as the seasons progress, a second flush of orange leaves lays over the older foliage to create a two tone effect. Those colourful leaves are also known to last longer into winter than other maples.
ACER palmatum ‘Red Emperor’, Arrowtown
ACER palmatum ‘Red Emperor’, 1000lt Heritage Grade at 4-5m, (approx 15+ years old)
Next, we have ACER palmatum ‘Red Emperor’. With its wine red foliage, it possesses a distinguished aesthetic. And like red wine, it is best not rushed and is to be savoured. The leaves emerge slightly later than other varieties in spring but that’s ok as the wait is worth it. They’ll transfix the eyes all the way through to Autumn when the leaves turn crimson before falling.
ACER palmatum ‘Viridis’, 35lt grade at 1.5m, (approx 5-6 years old)
Finally, there is ACER palmatum ‘Viridis’. A dwarf, green maple, it has a wonderful cascading form which produces this softened aesthetic for a gentle, inviting appearance. Its Autumn show introduces shades of yellow and orange to the deeply lobed and finely serrated leaves. Deciduous, grows to 1.5 x 1.5m.