Acer • Maple • カエデ • 楓 • kaede
[The text below was prepared by SJG Plant Committee for docent maple training in fall 2013]
One is located in Area K, on the island between the paths.
‘Ōmato’ is a straight growing, round-headed tree with outstanding limb structure. It can grow to 20’ to 25’ tall in over 25 years. It has large leaves with 5 to 7 gradually tapering lobes. Spring foliage has a tint of orange-red but the large leaves turn rich green in the summer turning to brilliant tones of red in the fall. ‘
Ōmato’ originated in Japan in 1930. It is grown for its large colorful leaves, red samaras in the fall, and its elegant vase shape growth. The meaning of Ōmato is “big target.”
From Davidsans Japanese Maples (very interesting website with in depth info):
Actually this concerns all A.p. Amoenum cultivars .But I have picked out Ōmato as representative of this group and one I especially like.
All Palmatums are desinated into sun categories by leaf shape ( actually there are other parts to this as in size of leaf and fruit and how serrated the leaf is but i think mainly the leaf node depth is the determining factor) …basically how divided the nodes are from the base of leaf. These sub-types designated by leaf nodes are “dissectums” , “Matsumurae”, “Amoenum”, “Palmatum”, “Linearilobum” and “Other” ( “other”not like any of the aforementioned leaf shapes such as the cultivars Mama and Koshimino). In addition Vertrees has added “dwarf” to this mess which in my mind makes little sense other than keeping them separated an illogical way. This is confusing to say the least . Not only is one sub group called “Palmatum” like the species, but the difference ( to me ) is really hard to tell especially between leaves of Palmatum and Matusumurae and to a lesser degree some Amoenums and even some Linearilobums ( which with too much fertilizer or at a young age of leaves are more Matsumurae”ish”) To cap it off being dwarf has nothing to do with leaf shape or any other quality except size of tree. If this last paragraph doesn’t confuse you well yiou are “special”. […]