Search This Blog

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Acer japonicum - Full Moon Maple

The full moon maple is an awesome small tree with great foliage and fantastic fall color. Trees are usually multi-stemmed with upright spreading lateral branches developing an rounded canopy to about 20' tall. Spectacular red and orange fall color. 

I think most specimens you are likely encounter will be 'Vitifolium' and these pictures are of that cultivar. Another you may see is 'Aconitifolium' which I will highlight in a different post.



Fall color is fantastic, reddish orange and yellows. 





Leaves are opposite, simple, 3-6" long and wide, almost round in outline, palmately lobed with 7-11 shallow finely serrated lobes. The leaves are also described as being palmate with deeply divided margins, about 1/3 of the way in. 



New leaves emerge rolled up and pendulous out of the elongating red buds.



One difference seen between this and the Japanese maple is the presence of hairs on the petioles.



Flowers are small, red and yellow colored, emerging with the new foliage but lasting well into full leaf out.



Fruit is a samara, in pairs, each about 1" long, usually at 180 degrees.



Misidentification:
Acer palmatum can look very similar. The leaves of the full moon maple are rounded (hence the full moon common name) and the petioles are hairy.

Leaves can look very much like the Vine maple, A. circinatum which is native to parts of CA and north. I think the leaves tend to have more coarsely serrated lobes.

Location
Aptos
200 Alva

No comments:

Post a Comment