Acer palmatum ‘Koto-no-Ito’ • Japanese Maple

Acer • Maple •   カエデ • 楓 •  kaede

Edited 11/26/13 + new, autumn pics

[The text below was prepared by SJG Plant Committee for docent maple training in fall 2013]

One grows in area A and one in area F.  The growth habit of ‘Koto-no-Ito’ is upright, becoming 10’ with a width of 3 to 5’ over many years. It is a Linearilobum type of maple with 5 or 7 long, narrow lobes. These very narrow strap-like leaves inspired the name ‘Koto-no-Ito’ which means “harp strings.”

It has been described as the “dancing monkey tree” for the way the extremely narrow lobes dance in the wind. Koto-no-Ito was introduced and named by Koichiro Wada in Japan in 1938. The new leaves unfold with crimson tones but soon turn green. Fall color begins as a wonderful yellow, moving towards gold and finishing blended with orange.

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SJG • 7/8/12 – Acer palmatum ‘Koto-no-ito’* Japanese Maple; in small lawn Area F, along the first short-cut; pic by Tony

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SJG • 7/8/12 – Acer palmatum ‘Koto-no-ito’* Japanese Maple; in small lawn Area F – LEAVES;  pic by Tony

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SJG • 10/22/13 – Acer palmatum ‘Koto-no-ito’* Japanese Maple; in small lawn Area F

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SJG • 10/22/13 – Acer palmatum ‘Koto-no-ito’* Japanese Maple; fallen LEAF

From Nichols Nursery, NC:  ‘Koto-no-ito’ is an extremely fine leafed linearilobum selection with an upright growth habit. The leaves are deeply divided and string like. ’Koto-no-ito’ is Japanese for “harp strings” and this describes this amazing cultivar well. The height of this tree reaches around 14 feet over time. The early spring color is a vivid bright green and changes in the fall into shades of orange and red. […]

I saw a nursery once describing it as ‘a cross between a miniature weeping willow and a bamboo’  – it’s  pretty close to how I experience that tree.

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