Japanese Maple Overview
Acer palmatum - also known as Japanese Maple or Cut-leaved Japanese Maple - was originally cultivated in Japan and has continued across temperate regions of the world for centuries. The species name Acer palmatum comes from the lacy, hand-like shape of its leaves. Its tiny, red-purple flowers produce red, winged, fruit in late summer. Acer palmatum comes in a range of sizes from small, flat-growing shrubs to small trees with dome-like shapes and all display vibrant yellow, orange or red leaf colour in Autumn. They can be grown in full sun, although leaf colour is best in partial shade, and they need moist, well-draining soil on the acidic side. (Leaf scorch can be caused by lack of soil moisture or if planted in a very exposed location.) As well as being a popular choice for Bonsai enthusiasts and Japanese themed gardens, this low-maintenance tree suits urban/courtyard gardens as well as cottage/informal settings. It provides mid-level structure and can be grown in a container. This Acer is the perfect tree for a small garden in South Africa and enjoys semi-shaded positions. In warm, dry regions, select a spot on the east or south side of the house. Common names include Acer, Japanese Maple and Green leaf Japanese Maple.