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ACER
MAPLE



A few Acer palmatums in the 'Idea Garden'

Please click on above photo to return to catalog

Acer is a genus made up of over 150 species found in the northern temperate zones and in the tropical mountains of Asia, China, Europe, Japan, North Africa, and North America. This year Blue Sterling Nursery has four species that we feel covers the spectrum of some of the greatest ornamental maples currently available. One species have been selected primarily for the unique bark feature, Acer griseum the Paperbark Maple, which has a fantastic cinnamon-brown-red exfoliating bark It has won the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award. It is from Middle China around Szechwan province. The other three species are commonly referred to as Japanese Maples, Acer japonicum, Acer palmatum and Acer shirasawanum. We have carefully selected each cultivar and after extensive testing we feel that we offer some of the best Japanese Maple varieties that are currently available in the nursery trade today.

Griseum
Paperbark Maple


Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association Plant Selection
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant Award
Upright
Rounded
Zone 5
The highlight of this small upright tree, 8-10 meters at maturity is the exfoliating bark, which has a very attractive cinnamon-red color. Fall color is a fantastic scarlet.
To see a larger photo (35k) click on small one.


Japonicum
Japanese Maple


Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association Plant Selection
Upright
Rounded
Zone 5

Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
'GREEN CASCADE' dissectum This is one of the recent introductions from the United States. This excellent selection was from Art Wright of Canby, Oregon. The form is very unique for a japonicum, that is, weeping or pendulous very similar to a palmatum dissectum. Also it has a very nice cut leaf which is quite rare for this type of plant. The fall colors are yellow-orange with crimson splashes.
To see a larger photo (41k) click on small one.


Palmatum
Japanese Maple


Acer palmatum cultivars can be placed into one of seven different groups. They would be assigned according to the characteristics of the leaf, such as, the division of the leaf lobes like the dissectum group, or the ultimate size of the plant as in the dwarf group. For the sake of simplifying the issue I will separate all of them into 2 sections, one being dissectum�s or laceleafs and the other being all the rest. Here is a description of each one of the groups.

Amoenum: leaf lobes - shallow to moderate - up to 2/3�s of the way to the leaf base.

Palmatum: leaf lobes - moderate to deep - 2/3�s to 3/4�s of the way to the leaf base.

Matusmurae: leaf lobes - very deep - more than 3/4�s of the way to the leaf base.

Linearilobum: lobes narrow, strap-like - divided at the base.

Dissectum: lobes very deeply divided and deeply dissected into sublobes.

Dwarf: cultivars whose mature height usually will not exceed 2 meters even in very old age.

Others: plants that cannot be placed in any of the above groups.


Dwarf
Rounded
Zone 5
'BENI SHICHI HENGE' (Palmatum group) The name which is rather difficult to pronounce means 'red and changeful'. This is because the green leaves with silver margins are very attractively sprinkled with an orangey color that sometimes covers half the blade or even an entire lobe. A real nice dwarf, slow-growing shrub that will mature at 2-3 meters high and wide. Quite rare!

Upright
Rounded
Zone 5
`BLOODGOOD' (Palmatum group) This small graceful tree has become the standard in red Japanese Maples over the years. It was a selection of 'Atropurpureum' but slower growing that was made by Bloodgood Nurseries(USA). The new leaves are bright red changing to dark purple-red throughout the season. A nice grower.
To see a larger photo click on small one.

Upright
Vase Shaped
Zone 6
'BUTTERFLY' (Matsumurae group)This nice variegated form of Japanese Maple has a cream colored margin on a blue-green leaf. The fall color is spectacular magenta where the cream was. This is one of the most desirable of the variegated cultivars. It is a large shrub or small tree that will attain a height of 3-4 meters.
To see a larger photo (22k) click on small one.

Upright
Rounded
Zone 5
'EMPEROR I' TM (Palmatum group) In my opinion this new selection is the best red palmatum to be developed to date. It's color rivals Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' but it leafs out two weeks later thereby being much superior in areas that are prone to late frosts. The other advantage is it keeps the dark red leaf color throughout the season and will do this even in full scorching mid-atlantic sun. In the fall it will turn a fiery red-crimson color that will take your breath away!!
To see a larger photo click on small one.

Upright
Rounded
Zone 5
`FIREGLOW' (Palmatum group) The prominent feature of this red upright palmatum is its color. It literally glows when the sun is providing backlight. It originated around 1977 in Italy and was introduced into the US about 5 years later. Outstanding choice!
To see a larger photo (29k) click on small one.

NEW!
Upright
Rounded
Zone 6
GOSHIKI KOTO HIME� (Dwarf group) The name means �dwarf multicolored old harp�and this dense, compact plant will grow up to 5 feet after many years of growing very slowly. It has very short (5-10mm) side shoots with a leader that only grows 3-5 cm per year. It is a true dwarf. The leaves which are 2-3 cm wide and long, are covered with white, pink, red, yellow and cream speckles and others are all green. This along with the bright pink new growth creates a brilliant effect in the spring. This growth will eventually turn to its regular color, darkening in the summer.

Upright
Rounded
Zone 5
'HOGYOKU' (Amoenum group) The name means precious stone. We offer this cultivar for its unique bright yellow, pumpkin-orange fall color. The spring and summer color is a deep rich green. This upright variety will grow to about 15' when mature but it also responds well to pruning and shaping. Very rare in North America but has been around since 1940.
To see a larger photo (19k) click on the one above.

Upright
Semi-dwarf
Zone 5
'JAPANESE SUNRISE' (Palmatum group) This is one of my favorite new additions to our line this year. Here is a nice green palmate type that has the wonderful characteristic of showing multi-colored bark. It is very similar to the Coral Bark Maple, Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku', but rather than just having bright coral bark it actually starts out with yellow on one side and transforms into red on the other looking like a Japanese sunrise. In the fall the green leaves turn a nice shade of golden yellow. The growth is about 6-10 inches a year becoming rounded and spreading at maturity.
To see a larger photo click on the one above.

Cascading
Mounding
Zone 6
JIRO SHIDARE� (Palmatum group) This unique selection has a very unusual feature. It has a cascading habit and it is not a dissectum. This is very rare in Japanese maples. It is a gorgeous mushroom-shaped, mounding, large shrub, that will grow to about 2 meters with a cascading manner to the branches. It has a nice green color until fall when it turns a beautiful yellow. It was introduced before 1965 by Shibamichi Honten Nursery of Japan.

Upright
Semi-dwarf
Zone 5
`KATSURA' (Palmatum group) This dwarf, slow growing tree with an upright habit, starts the spring with refreshing apricot colored leaves which turn to a rich green with a bright orange margin. A superior small tree. Quite rare.
To see a larger photo click on the one above.

Dwarf
Bush Form
Zone 5
'MIKAWA YATSUBUSA' (Dwarf group) This cute little dwarf has nice light green leaves that overlap each other giving a layered effect similar to the shingles on a roof. It is a great selection for bonsai or the small garden due to its slow growth rate and dwarf compact habit.
To see a larger photo click on the one above.


Upright
Rounded
Zone 5
`MOONFIRE' (Palmatum group) This introduction by Richard Wolff is one of the best of the upright red Japanese Maples. It is strong and vigorous and in my opinion it seems to hold its deep purple-red color through summer longer than even the industry standard Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood'.

Upright
Vase Shaped
Zone 5
`OKUSHIMO' (Palmatum group) This very desirable cultivar is unique in a few ways, the odd-shaped leaves, the unusual fall color, and the sweeping upright growth habit. The leaves are very dark green, deeply lobed and rolled upward, almost tube-like, The fall color is an intense yellow-gold that is almost fluorescent at times. The growth habit is vase shaped, not round-topped or umbrella shaped as are most of the other palmatums, It will tolerate pruning and shaping to confine it to smaller areas but should never need this because of its slow growth habit.
To see a larger photo (37k) click on the one above.

Upright
Cascading
Zone 5
`OMURAYAMA' (Matusmurae group) This is an excellent example of the cascading palmatum. It develops into a tall shrub or small tree with spring foliage being a brilliant shade of green. As with many of the deeply divided leaf cultivars they will attain medium size of about 10-15'. The outer branches cascade beautifully which is quite unusual for a palmatum. Fall colors are a fantastic combination of brilliant crimson and gold. A very nice selection.
To see a larger photo (23k) click on the one above.

Upright
Slender
Zone 5
'ORANGE DREAM' (Palmatum group) This maple is well named. It has new leaves in spring that are bright orange-yellow with the orange being on the margin creating a real nice effect. Later it turns a greenish-yellow then in the fall it turns back to a yellow-orange. The leaves are either 5 or 7 lobed and the bark is a nice fresh green color. The mature height is around 10 feet high.

To see a larger photo click on the one above.
Upright
Rounded Shaped
Zone 5
'ORIDO NISHIKI' (Palmatum group) This is one of the best variegated japanese maples we have grown. The color of the leaf is a nice shiny dark green with fantastic variegation. It starts Spring with bright pink, cream and white markings and they can all be on the same leaf at the same time. This creates an outstanding statement in the landscape. It is a vigorous grower but it does not tend to get out of hand. A tree 20 years old will be about 5 or 6 meters high and wide. A superb selection!
To see a larger photo (35k) click on the one above.

Upright
Rounded
Zone 5
`OSAKAZUKI' (Amoenum group) This excellent selection has a good rich green in the spring and summer which is followed by an extremely intense crimson red color in the fall. Again like most Acer palmatums, growth is rapid when young but slows down and the habit becomes rounded when older.

NEW!
Upright
Compact
Zone 6
PEACHES AND CREAM� (Palmatum group) Here is a superbly variegated Japanese maple. It has deeply divided and crinkled leaves that are simply wonderful to see. In spring the leaves unfurl with a pale creamy greenish color almost covering each leaf except for the centers which are a beautiful rose pink. This is set off dramatically by the dark green veins in the center of the leaf. The color stays the same all summer but in the fall the predominant colors are yellow to butter cream with the tips slightly darker. It was a cross of Acer palmatumShigitatsu sawa� and A.p.Aka shigitatsu sawa� selected by Don Teese of Yamina Rare Plants in Australia in 1980.
To see a couple of larger photos click on the one above.


Upright
Vase Shaped
Zone 5
`RED PYGMY' (Linearilobum group) A very nice selection from Holland with very narrow red leaves. Will reach a height and width of about 6' by 6' in 25 years. Quite unusual and rarely found in home gardens.

Upright
Rounded
Zone 6
To see 2 larger photos (60ktotal) click on small one.

Bush
Rounded
Zone 5
'SHAINA' (Palmatum group) This relatively new variety has created a tremendous amount of excitement in the plant world. It is a witches broom from Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' Like other brooms it has the middle lobe rounded and shorter than the rest, the result being quite unique leaf shape. The bright red leaves are held close to the stem and this creates an interesting effect.

Dwarf
Bush Form
Zone 5
'SHARP'S PYGMY' (Dwarf group) Here is another superb dwarf bush form that never needs pruning. It has green leaves that turn a nice crimson wine color in the fall. The shape is close to a mounding bonsai and looks like it will grow to about 4 feet high and wide in 15-20 years. A real WINNER!!
To see larger photo click on small one.

NEW!
Upright
Shrub-like
Zone 6
SHIN DESHOJO� (Palmatum group) This is an excellent example of the �brilliant new growth� type. Shin means �new or newer� , shojo means �red faced monkey�. In spring the leaves unfold into a hot, flaming scarlet color and hold this for a month or more and then turn to a reddish green in midsummer then a nice blend of oranges and reds in the fall. It will form a shrub up to 3 meters high and 2 meters wide. It makes an excellent container plant for the patio display and bonsai according to J. D. Vertrees in the book Japanese Maples.

NEW!
Upright
Vase-shaped
Zone 6
�SHINOBUGA OKA� (Linearilobum group) Some confusion exists surrounding the name of this plant, also known as �Linearilobum�, �Scolopendrifolium� among other things. Anyway, this is a wonderfully graceful large shrub or small tree that will reach 10� or more. The fresh green leaves are long and thin, some what strap-like, and turn a nice yellow orange red color in the fall. It has been around since at least 1882, proving it has all the requirements for a long lasting good garden selection and not just a passing fad.

Upright
Dwarf
Zone 5
'SHISHIGASHIRA' (Palmatum group) The Lion's Head Maple. This selection has tufted or curly leaves creating a natural bonsai look. Being one of the most popular Japanese Maples it can be found in the better gardens and arboretums around the world. It will reach a height of about 10 feet in 50 years.
To see a larger photo (37k) click on the one above.

NEW!
Upright
Narrow
Zone 6
�SKEETERS BROOM� (Dwarf group) Skeeter Rodd of Raraflora Nursery in PA selected this neat witches� broom of Acer p.Bloodgood�. The leaves are a nice bright red when opening in spring and later turn a purple red in the summer heat. It holds this color well and has a nice narrow, compact, upright form that will attain a height of about 2 1/2 meters. Like many other witches' brooms of �Bloodgood� the middle lobe of the leaf is shortened and rounded creating an interesting effect.
To see a larger photo click on the one above.

Upright
Rounded
Zone 5
`TROMPENBURG' (Matsumurae group) This cultivar has unusual leaves that tend to radiate laterally, giving the appearance of fingers, and they roll under forming tubes. This extraordinary feature along with a deep purple-red color that lasts exceptionally late into the summer gives a unique and pleasing effect to the whole tree. The upright habit matures at about 15' with a nice rounding top. It is a selection of the Trompenburg Arboretum in Holland.
To see 2 larger photos (121k) click on the one above.

NEW!
Upright
Dwarf
Zone 5
TSUMA GAKI� (Amoenum group) Here is another Japanese maple selection that has withstood the test of time. It is a slow growing shrub to about 3 meters high and wide that has been around since at least 1882. The leaves are a super yellow-green with a reddish-purple outline at the tips of the lobes. In the fall the color is an intense blend of red-crimson-orange-yellow creating a wonderful collage of colorful foliage.

NEW!
Upright
Slow
Zone 6
�UKI GUMO� (Palmatum group) This variegated form of palmatum really earns its name of �floating clouds� by having a nice subtle pastel coloration of white and light pink tastefully sprinkled onto a green background. The ultimate height of this upright shrub is about 3-4 meters but only after many years of growing. A Japanese selection that has been around since before 1970.
To see a larger photo click on the one above.

Palmatum dissectum
Laceleaf Japanese Maple



The group referred to as dissectum is known primarily for its growth habit and dissected leaf shape. Unlike the rounded crown of the broader leaved palmatums, the laceleafs grow more closely to a mounding shrub. They rarely attain a height of more than 10-12 feet and then only at a very old age. They also have beautiful fall foliage. Most of the red cutleaf selections turn a brilliant crimson-red and the green types turn a fantastic yellow to orange to red color, both providing a fantastic transition from fall to winter.

NEW!
Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 6
�BALDSMITH� (Dissectum group) The mounding habit with very pendoulous branches make this cultivar one of the best of the new introductions. The very thin leaves are a bright orange-red in the spring becoming green in the center with red-pink margins. This creates an interesting effect in the summer with the two-toned colors of the green inside on the old growth and the pink with reddish-orange on the new growth. Fall is excellent with bright yellow and orange blends.
To see a larger photo click on the one above.

Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
'EAGLE'S CLAW' (Dissectum group) This new laceleaf has a nice light green color that turns red-orange in the fall. The leaf is very sharply cut and therefore the name is very fitting. This one is in very high demand and rightfully so.

Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
'EVER RED' (Dissectum group) A nice laceleaf type with a leaf that is finely dissected and has a bright red color. The new Spring growth has a silvery pubescence on it that separates this cultivar from other reds. It has a strongly cascading habit and is one of the hardiest. It does well in full sun or partial shade.

Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
'FILIGREE' (Dissectum group) This is a wonderful variegated cutleaf. As the name implies it is an extremely delicate texture reminiscent of Irish Lace. The leaf is a light or yellowish-green in spring, darkening later in the season, with dots, specks, or flecks of pale gold or cream over the entire leaf surface. The growth habit is pendulous like most of the dissectums. It is a compact, cascading, well rounded plant. Height:6' Width:9' when mature.

Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
'GARNET' (Dissectum group) The outstanding feature of this great laceleaf is its deep orange-red color. It is very similar to the semi precious gem of the same name. It has a pendulous, spreading form and is quite vigorous. Maximum height is attained at about 9' in old age. It should have full sun for the most intense garnet-red color. This plant originated with Guldemond from Holland. It is one of the best laceleafs available for the landscape.

NEW!
Laceleaf
Pendulous
Zone 6
�GREEN HORNET� This new selection is fantastic with its great fall color. The new leaves are shaded in orange-red and they turn a nice bright green in the summer on long pendulous branches.

Laceleaf
Dwarf Mound
Zone 5
'GREEN MIST' (Dissectum group) Here is a new laceleaf that has green leaves with a reddish-pink coloration over the green. The leaf is deeply dissected and turns a bright red in the Fall. It is a slow growing selection and only grows about 3-6 inches a year. Looks like a real good one!

Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
`INABA SHIDARE' (Dissectum group) This laceleaf has large leaves that develop a very deep tone of purple-red in the spring and holds it all season, they don't bronze out much in the summer. The fall colors are absolutely brilliant when they change from the purple-red to a bright crimson shade. The growth habit is kind of upright for a cutleaf, but it does cascade very nicely. It has been around in Japan since around 1850 and is becoming more popular in the United States.
To see a larger photo (46k) click on the one above.


Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
'ORANGEOLA' (Dissectum group) This finely dissected laceleaf maple has a nice refreshing weeping habit. The new growth is orangish-red during the summer while the mature leaves are greenish yellow turning a bright orange in the fall. Mature height is about 4 -6 feet. Quite new to the trade being introduced in 1988 it is difficult to locate.

Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
`RED DRAGON' (Dissectum group) This great new release developed by Graham Roberts of New Zealand. It has a very vigorous weeping, mounding habit with an excellent foliage color that lasts very well throughout the summer. One of the best new releases of the past decade. It will probably be the new industry standard for red laceleaf maples.
To see a larger photo click on the one above.

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant Award
Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
`TAMUKEYAMA' (Dissectum group) The new foliage is a deep crimson -red but soon changes to dark purple-red and holds this color very well. The fall color is bright scarlet. The young branches and twigs are a nice maroon red. The growth habit is strongly cascading and it prefers light shade. Although the name is a mouthful this variety is well worth it!
To see a larger photo click on the one above.

Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
'TOYAMA NISHIKI' (Dissectum group) This plant is known as the Variegated Laceleaf Japanese Maple. It has leaves that are purple -red to greenish-red to green and white and all combinations can be on the same leaf. Each leaf has a different pattern making this a very unusual plant. This is not a strong grower and should be staked upright if height is a desired factor. Please plant only in shade because it will burn in full sun. Quite rare and most difficult to find anywhere!

Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
`VIRIDIS' (Dissectum group) This one is a super, bright green, cascading laceleaf that transforms into a nice glowing, orange-gold mound in the fall. Grows well in either sun or light shade. This tree is known to grow to about 16 feet high in extremely old trees (75-100 years old). It has been around for many years and has withstood the test of time! Great choice and one of my favorites.
To see two larger photos (99k total) click on the one above.

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant Award
Laceleaf
Mounding
Zone 5
`WATERFALL' (Dissectum group) This plant was the recipient of the PHS Gold Medal Plant Award for 1999. It has bright green color throughout the summer and then turns a stunning brilliant golden-yellow with crimson overtones in the fall. The original plant is now 9' high and 12' wide and was selected as a seedling by Henry Homan of the Willowood Arboretum in the 1920's. A nice weeping or cascading form that is becoming more popular all the time.
To see a larger photo (24k total) click on the one above.


Shirasawanum
Japanese Maple


Dwarf
Rounded
Zone 5
`AUREUM' Golden Full Moon Maple. This tree is very slow growing and upright when young and will mature at around 5-6 meters in very old age. The leaves in spring are a nice yellow-green and in summer turn all yellow. In the fall they show spectacular colors varying from yellow to orange to a deep red all on the same leaf. The largest one I have seen is at the Esveld Nursery in Boskoop, Holland. It was about 125 years old and absolutely spectacular. The tree stood about 5 1/2 meters high and 6 meters wide. WOW.... what a statement! This plant is very desirable and quite rare in gardens because it is difficult to propagate on a commercial scale.
To see a larger photo (16k total) click on the one above.

Dwarf
Upright
Zone 5
AUTUMN MOON� This new cultivar is similar to the Golden Full Moon Maple except that the new growth is tinged with a beautiful shade of pink. This is VERY RARE and the supply is very limited.
To see a larger photo (16k total) click on the one above.

Please prune the Golden Fullmoon Maple to return to the top.

Copyright © Blue Sterling Nursery 1997-2011 All rights reserved.
All photos copyright by Jim Smith and may not be used in any manner without the authors written consent.





GROWTH
PER YEAR


Miniature........
less than 3"

Dwarf............
3-6"

Intermediate.....
6-12"

Large............
more than 12"