Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ • Japanese Fullmoon Maple

Acer • Maple • カエデ • 楓 • kaede

[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.

Image

SJG • 10/4/13 – Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ • Japanese Fullmoon Maple, Area C
(this one usually takes to fall colors earlier than its partner across the path in Z, because of the greater sun exposure)

Image

SJG • 10/4/13 – Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ • Japanese Fullmoon Maple, Area C, LEAVES

From Gardener’s World (BBC affiliated british gardening magazine): […] The leaves of this vigorous, bushy cultivar are more deeply cut than the species acer, and provide a dramatic splash of autumn colour. Adding a strong architectural presence to any garden, it requires little maintenance. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its Award of Garden Merit (AGM). […]

From Essence of the Tree (many great pics at the link): A large, vigorous tree with extraordinary fall color. The leaves are as big as your hand. Fall color of orange, yellow and red comes early and fast creating a fire in the sky. You can see this tree for miles in fall color. Fall color is consistent even in warmer climates. […]

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