Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum
Family: Aceraceae
| Podcast Script

Japanese Maple on DHS campus
Japanese Maple Bark
Japanese Maple Leaves
The fruit of the Japanese Maple


Angiosperm, Dicot, deciduous


Height: 15-25 ft
Width: 10-25 ft

Identifying Features:

Known for its brilliant foliage in the autumn and in the spring and summer for the red varieties. Bark and twig color is either green or red.


Native to Japan, China, Korea. Habitat is varied: can grow in light, medium, and heavy soil, as well as acidic, neutral, and basic soil. It grows best in woodland areas.


Flowers: small red or purple hanging clusters of flowers
Fruits: Samaras (a typical fruit of a maple: dry, winged, sometimes one-seeded)
Reproduction: can be grown from a seed or a section of a growing portion of plant can be cut and replanted in a process called layering.

Water/Sun Requirements:

Sun: The plant should grow in an area which receives morning or evening sun, or in a light shade. The plant should not be placed in direct sunlight.
Water: The plant should be watered in the early morning or late afternoon so that the soil will not dry out. The soil surrounding the plant should be evenly moist and should be well drained. The plant should not be watered in direct sunlight because that can result in burnt foliage.

Special Adaptations:

Because there are so many different varities, or cultivars, of Acer Palmatum, they are better survivors.
The japanese maple can also grow well in different types of soil, making them more fit to survive.

Other Info:

There are hundreds of varieties, or cultivars, of Acer Palmatum. The plant on campus is a tree with green leaves, however, it can also come in a shrub form and it can have different color leaves, such as red, purple, and yellow.
They are commonly used in gardens because of their year-round beauty.
The leaves of the japanese maple can act as a preservative for food.
The sap of the japanese maple contains sugar that can be a drink or can be boiled down into a syrup.

Reference Sources/Links:


Created Briana F, 2007