Botanical Name: Acer palmatum (Dissectum Group)
Common Name: Dissected Japanese Maple
Notable Feature: These small trees with finely dissected leaves belong to the Dissected Group of Japanese maples. They are commonly called laceleaf, cutleaf, or threadleaf Japanese maples owing to the lacy appearance of their deeply incised leaves.
Habit: A deciduous, Japanese maple that forms a mounding, shrubby, single to multistemmed tree with cascading branching and a semi-weeping habit. Slow-growing and typically reaching no more than 4 to 6 feet tall with a larger spread. Many cultivars have been selected for habit, color, and leaf size.
Flower: Blooming in spring, the small reddish flowers are borne in stalked, umbrella-shaped clusters. The individual flowers have five red or purple sepals and five whitish petals. Species is monoecious (male and female flowers occur separately on the same tree).
Fruit: A two-winged seed (samara) ripens in late summer to early fall; green to red and ½- to ¾” long, maturing to reddish brown and persistent on the tree.
Foliage: Feathery, opposite, 2 to 5” long and wide with 7, 9 or 11 lobes that are deeply cut to the point of attachment; each lobe in turn is finely cut. Color is dependent upon variety; the species is green with outstanding yellow, orange, or red fall color. Leaves emerge in April.
Bark: Smooth, light gray with a somewhat fluted trunk.
Interesting Fact: The diverse beauty of Japanese maples has captivated gardeners for centuries. During the Edo era in Japan, over 250 named cultivars were selected and grown. Today, there are over 1,000 varieties grown for their different habits, leaf shapes and colors, as well as hardiness levels.