Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ • Japanese Full-moon maple

Acer  • Maple • カエデ  • 楓  • kaede

• Edited again on 11/29/13

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

One grows in area C and one in area Z. They grow across from each other on the main path. This cultivar is large for the species. It is upright and becomes broad and round-topped with age, reaching at least 30’.

The leaves are deep green and of good texture with 8 – 15” long stiff petioles. There are 9 or 11 lobes, and each lobe is separated almost halfway to the leaf base. The red flower trusses are quite distinctive. The fall colors are magnificent. The golds predominate at first, with strong tones of crimson and scarlet, changing to a vivid scarlet before the leaves drop. : As the name implies, the large leaves resemble the grape genus Vitis.


SJG • 10/22/13 – Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ • Japanese Full-moon maple. fallen LEAVES

• Updated 4/27/13 with new pics of the tree and leaves in spring

Until yesterday I didn’t know that maples have blooms – thanks Sue!  Here is the Japanese Full-moon maple blossom in area C (there is another Full-moon maple in area E, kiddy corner on the Main path ); the rest of the tree will come later:


SJG • 4/13/13 – Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ • Japanese Full-moon maple, Area C: BLOOM

From Fine Gardening:  Full-moon maple has deeply lobed leaves, crimson autumn color, and plenty of small, reddish flowers in spring. It can be grown as a small tree or multi-stemmed shrub. Its growth habit is mounded, bushy, and spreading. The cultivar name ‘Aconitifolium’ refers to the fact that its ferny foliage resembles that of monkshood (Aconitum). This beautiful tree makes a great specimen plant and is very hardy. […]

From wikipedia: […]The flowers are 1 cm diameter, dark purplish-red with five sepals and petals; they are produced 10–15 together in drooping corymbs in early spring as the leaves start to open. […]


SJG • 4/26/13 – Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ • Japanese Full-moon maple; Area C, the tree in spring


SJG • 4/26/13 – Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ • Japanese Full-moon maple; Area C, spring LEAVES

Some maples bloom SO big, like the big Leaf Maple, almost catkins there: Sue picked it up from the ground and I photographed it later:


SJG • 4/13/13 – big Leaf Maple in front of SJG (S parking lot);  bloom

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