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Japanese Maple

July 22, 2018
There’s re a few plants with leaves that resemble Japanese maple, but there’s no comparison to the real thing. Today Southern Gardening is visiting our friends Glen and Libby, and admiring their small collection of Japanese maples. The Japanese maple is known botanically as Acer palmatum, derived from the Latin meaning shaped like a palm. These small trees are brilliant with their exotic foliage in the spring and summer seasons, many with a fall blaze of crimson, orange and yellow. I think it’s interesting how the foliage of Japanese maple have variations that include five to seven or more lobes, dissected or non-dissected leaves, and having toothed edges. Japanese maples can also be grouped by types of growth habit: upright or weeping. A good example of an upright type is Bloodgood. This selection is one of the hardiest and has attractive burgundy red lobed foliage that turns scarlet red in the fall. Bloodgood is well suited for a small yard or landscape. I really this yellow bark selection called Bihou. This small upright grower has bright lime green to chartreuse leaves with red petials displayed on yellow twigs and branches. The dissectum selections are laceleafs with beautifully delicate leaves. The growth habit of the laceleaf types can be upright, but I think the cascading or weeping types are more beautiful. If you don’t have a Japanese maple, now’s a great time to consider which ones you’d like. There’s plenty of time before planting one or two this fall. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.

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