T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Acer palmatum (Japanese maple)

Kingdom:   Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots
Order: Rosids
Family: Sapindaceae
Subfamily: Sapindales
Genus: Acer
Species: A. palmatum
Binomial name: Acer palmatum
Common name: Japanese maple, Smooth Japanese Maple

The range of Acer palmatum cultivars is beyond the scope of this web site, as hundreds exist.
Acer palmatumis a species of woody plant native to Japan, North Korea, South Korea, China, eastern Mongolia, and southeast Russia.  Many different cultivars of this maple have been selected and they are grown worldwide for their attractive leaf shapes and colours.
Acer palmatum is a deciduous shrub or small tree reaching heights of 6–10 m, rarely 16 m. It may have multiple trunks joining close to the ground. In habit, it is often shaped like a hemisphere (especially when younger) or takes on a dome-like form, especially when mature. 
The leaves are 4–12 cm long and wide, palmately lobed with five, seven, or nine acutely pointed lobes. The flowers are produced in small cymes, the individual flowers with five red or purple sepals and five whitish petals. The fruit is a pair of winged samaras, each samara 2–3 cm long with a 6–8 mm seed. The seeds of Japanese maple and similar species require stratification (where seeds are pretreated to simulate winter conditions so that germination may occur) in order to germinate.
Even in nature, Acer palmatum displays considerable genetic variation, with seedlings from the same parent tree typically showing differences in such traits as leaf size, shape, and colour. There are many different cultivars of this maple and they are grown worldwide for their attractive leaf shapes and colours.

This tree is next to the Te Henui bridge Devon St.

This specimen can be found at the Waiwaka Reserve Lat 39 3' 32.119 S Long 174 5' 41.262" E


A new spring leaf and winged seeds.


Flowers.


The developing winged seed.


The winged seed.


Flowers and winged seeds during spring.