You are all familiar with the Japanese Maple varieties we carry like the Red-leaf ‘Bloodgood’, Cut-leaf ‘Crimson Queen, Coral Bark ‘Sango Kaku’ and the Lion’s Head Maple ‘Shishigashira’ etc. They are all wonderful as focal points, each with their distinctive habit, bark and fall color. Here are two more to know:
Fullmoon Maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’) grows just 8-10′ and has a mounded form. The leaves resemble that of the perennial Monkshood (Aconitum) which is where it got its name. The fall color on this, like many of the green varieties is an awesome orangey-crimson. Perfect for the rock garden, the end of a border and as an accent planting. The closer to a patio or foot traffic the better so you can appreciate the interesting leaves!
Fingerleaf Maple (A. palmatum ‘Scolopendrifolium’) will get 12-15′ and has a low-branching, upright, spreading habit. The thin willowy leaves are like fingers and turn an outstanding yellow-golden in fall showing off their red petioles. The bark is gray and branches a reddish pink. This distinctive maple may also go under the name of ‘Linearlobum’.
As with most Japanese Maples plant in rich well-drained soil in a site that is had dappled shade or is not exposed to hot afternoon sun.
Both are single specimens worth the trip to Newtown’s Yard to see. Other large Japanese Maples include the 20′ ‘Beni Otake’, which is a red-leaf variety and several green-leaf Acer palmatums measuring 10-11″ caliper, 10/12′ and more. Looking for something smaller? Check out A. palmatum ‘Kiyohime’ – a green-leaf cultivar with a sprawling habit reaching 6-8′ high x 10-12′ wide. Come on over – both yards have some great finds!