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Botanical Name: Acer palmatum (Dissectum Viride 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 Maple owing to the lacy appearance of their deeply incised leaves.
Habit: A dwarf mounding, shrubby, multistemmed tree with cascading branching and a semi-weeping habit. This deciduous, small tree is slow-growing and typically is no more than 4 to 6 feet tall with a larger spread.
Flower: Blooming in spring, the small reddish flowers are borne in stalked, umbrella-shaped clusters. As with many maples, the flowers are rather attractive close up, but are not particularly showy from a distance. 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, finely divided, bright green leaves are 2” long with serrated margins and palmate in shape with 7 to 11 deeply incised lobes. Autumn transforms the leaves into blazing shades of yellow with orange overtones before falling to the ground.
Interesting Fact: The cultivation and selective breeding of Japanese Maples go back beyond three centuries with over 300 cultivars to choose from. The species name, palmatum meaning palm-like, refers to the shape of its leaves. The lobes originate from one point, looking like an open hand with outstretched fingers.