Native to Japan, Korea and China, Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum) include a rich variety of deciduous shrubs or small trees with graceful habits, elegantly cut leaves and extraordinarily colorful foliage, particularly in the fall when the leaves warm up to dazzling shades of golden-yellow, red-purple and bronze, before shedding to the ground.
Japanese Maples create striking focal points in the garden in most seasons and are particularly breathtaking when draped in their brilliant foliage. They are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, from small, gracefully cascading shrubs, usually suitable for containers and small gardens, to upright, medium-sized trees like the highly popular Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku' which can reach 25 ft. (7.5m). This diversity means that there is a Japanese Maple for almost every garden situation.
A single Japanese Maple placed in a prominent place attracts attention from every part of the garden. Some cultivars are famed for the dramatic effect they bring to the garden, such as 'Bloodgood', 'Trompenburg', 'Katsura' or 'Aka Kawa Hime'. While all Japanese Maples are beautiful and provide a fabulous architectural presence, some enjoy particularly outstanding features such as dramatic foliage, long-lasting striking leaf color, unusual leaf shape or striking winter bark. The eye can never pass lightly over the dazzling color presented by their flaming foliage across seasons or the graceful outlines of their brilliant coral twigs and branches. Here is a list of Dramatic Japanese Maples.
Learn how to combine Japanese Maples for long-lasting color impact and to create strikingly beautiful combinations in the garden.