Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Atropurpureum’ • Japanese Lace Leaf Maple

Acer Maple カエデ 楓 kaede

[Edited on 1/11/14 to add the text below,  prepared by SJG Plant Committee for docent maple training in fall 2013]:

One grows in area B, one in C, and one in Y. Two other varieties are in the garden: dissectum ‘Viridis’ in area C, and dissectum ‘Garnet’ in area W.

The ‘Atropurpureum’ in areas B and C are located across the main path from one another. This strongly cascading tree has long, drooping branchlets that form a dome-shaped plant at maturity. It reaches up to 12’ and at least as wide. The leaves have seven or nine lobes and each lobe separates entirely to the petiole attachment. It is the most familiar form of the Japanese maple and occurs naturally with red or green foliage.

Properly cared for 75 to 100-year-old specimen plants possess a magnificent stateliness. Once the autumn foliage is off, the characteristic shapely, twisting branch scaffolding carries the featured beauty on through the dormant season especially if the dead leaves and debris are cleaned out of the interior. During the young formative years, it needs to be grafted high on a standard, or staked, so that it can attain some height from which to cascade.
5/4/12: Japanese threadleaf  maple or lace-leaf maple – SJG has several of them, most notably the one right after the entrance to the Garden, over 110 years old on the left side of the main path.  This winter this old maple was dug out, and replanted a few yards to the left from the  original, now too crowded space;  it was also turned around 180 degrees, to show better its magnificent trunk:


SJG • 5/2/12 – Acer palmatum var. dissectum – Japanese Lace Leaf Maple, Area B


SJG • 5/2/12 – Acer palmatum var. dissectum – Japanese Lace Leaf Maple – LEAF

And here is the lace-leaf maple as seen a few weeks before, from a connector road between Service Rod and a main path (kind of the reverse view, from the other side):


SJG • 4/26/12 – Acer palmatum var. dissectum – Japanese Lace Leaf Maple, Area B, seen from the road connecting main path with the service road (opposite view from the photo above)

This write-up is from Missouri Botanical Garden: […] This Japanese maple cultivar (dissected type) is a dwarf, mounded, deciduous tree or multi-stemmed shrub with cascading branching and a weeping habit. Typically grows slowly to 6-10′ tall. Features finely cut palmate (7-9 lobes), deeply cut and dissected leaves (2-4″ long) which emerge red in spring, mature to dark purplish red in summer and turn crimson red in fall. […]

From BBC Plant Finder: Japanese maples naturally grow under the protective canopy of larger trees. To avoid their leaves turning brown and crispy, try to replicate these conditions by growing Japanese maples in a sheltered spot and keeping moist in summer. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its Award of Garden Merit which is for plants of outstanding excellence.

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