China, Korea, Japan
Compact, rounded form with single or multistemmed trunks; 8 to 35 foot tall varies with cultivar. Medium to fast growth in youth, slower with age.
Full sun for leaf coloration of cultivars but tolerates partial shade. Moist, well-drained soil. Frost damage to new spring foliage can occur.
Focal point specimen. Architectural, sculptural trees.
Opposite, simple, 2 to 4 inches long; deeply lobed and sometimes seemingly palmately compound. Color varies with cultivar, green to red. Fall color can be yellow, red, or purple depending on the cultivar
Lacking true terminal bud. Paired, valvately scaled, small buds are surrounded at the base by a row of hairs.
Young stems variously colored, older stems light gray in color.
Umbellate, red or purple, small.
Samara .5 to .75 inches long, green or reddish in color. Color depends on the cultivar.
Cuttings difficult to root; cultivars are normally grafted. Relatively easy from seed.
'Atropurpureum' - Leaves reddish purple but usually fade. 5-7 lobes.
'Bloodgood' - Holds red-purple leaf color better than most.
'Burgundy Lace' - Lobes finely divided lacy. Reddish purple color.
'Dissectum' - Leaves have 7-11 finely cut lobes.
'Sango Kaku' - Bright-red twigs in winter.
'Tamukeyama', 'Butterfly', 'Seriyou'.The list of cultivars is seemingly endless. See J.D. Vertress's Japanese Maples.