Plant Family Guides: Acer - Maples Plant-Family Guides
Winters may be long and cold, but your garden can allay that dreariness and be transformed into a place of natural beauty with visually arresting textures, colors, fragrance and flowers. To create such a beautiful winter scene, you need to make sure you select the right plants.
Create a garden that commands attention throughout the year by selecting trees that excite interest month after month and provide a ravishing show throughout all four seasons.
While all Japanese Maples are beautiful and provide a fabulous architectural presence, in the garden or in containers, some feature 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.
Native to Japan, Korea and China, Acer palmatum is a species to which most Japanese Maples belong. It includes 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.
Some varieties of Japanese Maples feature terrific spring colors. Their lush, bright new leaves emerge with a variety of hues we usually expect in fall and create a spectacle of vibrant leaf color in the bleak landscape. If you are an unconditional lover of Japanese Maples, you may want to combine these spring cultivars with fall cultivars that possess stunning features to obtain a bold effect through multiple seasons.
Combine Japanese Maples with multiple seasons of interest, forms, leaf shapes or colors will extend their colorful impact in the garden and provide double the pleasure.
A single Japanese Maple placed in a prominent place attracts attention from every part of the garden. While extraordinarily good-looking on their own, Japanese Maples however, look more charming when planted with companion plants. Well-behaved, they make perfect partners with other plants and help create strikingly beautiful combinations in the garden.
Acer platanoides (Norway Maple) is listed in the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States. The federal government has estimated that nearly 25 percent of the 20,000 plant species native to North America are at risk of extinction, many of these through habitat loss. You can help reverse this trend by planting great native plants in your garden.
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