Friday, November 16, 2007

Fernleaf Fullmoon Maple

Fernleaf Fullmoon Maple
Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’
(AY-ser) (juh-PON-ih-kum)
Synonyms: Maiku jaku, Downy Japanese Maple, ハウチワカエデ

Since I have been enjoying all the Japanese Maples at work and posted on other blogs, like Ki’s, I thought I would share one of my favorite trees. The term Japanese Maples is usually applied to Acer palmatum but this tree is actually a species (different second name) Acer japonicum and it is a cultivar of that species ‘Aconitifolium’. Other cultivars of this tree include 'Vitifolium' and ‘Green Cascade’. It is a wonderful small stature tree that can grow in partial shade (should be in hot climates) and is hardy to USDA Zone 5. The species was introduced to the United States in 1864. Golden Fullmoon Maple is actually a different species A. shirasawanum. I did a post on that tree here.

A good way to tell the difference between Acer palmatum and A. japonicum is the amount of lobes on the leaf. The palmatum types usually have seven or less lobes and japonicum has 9 to 13 lobes. Sorry if all those species are confusing it kind of breaks down like this.

Acer palmatum and Acer japonicum are both species of Maple. They are both commonly referred to as Japanese Maples. The species of A. japonicum further breaks down into cultivars of Fernleaf (‘Aconitifolium’), Grape-leaved 'Vitifolium' and Weeping (‘Green Cascade’).

The Estate has two specimens of Fernleaf Fullmoon Maple. One is planted in a shady location and the other is in full sun. These pictures are from the sunny one. The one in shade grows a bit sparser and slower and gets more of a yellowy fall color. It is still beautiful. Most of the trees at work are tagged as to what they are, where they bought and how big and when they were planted. This one was bought at Imperial Nurseries, came in a 15 gallon container and was planted in the summer of 2000. As I remember it was about 5 feet tall and had a spread of about 4 feet. In the last seven years it has grown to about 8 feet tall and is about 12 feet wide. Its final height is supposed to be 10-12 feet tall and 15 feet wide but I have seen larger ones. The flowers in the spring and the emerging foliage (sometimes with a touch of pink) are beautiful as are the large green leaves in the summer. The real show starts in the fall with the change to orange, yellow and red leaves. The autumn show lasts quite a while and after the leaves fall off the winter outline isn’t bad looking. So it is really a tree that has three strong seasons.

The first picture was shot with the 60mm/2.8 Micro-Nikkor and on the second ahot I used the 50mm/1.8 Nikon lens.


Ki said...

Chris, nice description of the various types of A. palmatum and japonicum. As I mentioned before the deer ate mine when it was very little. You photos only confirm that they are beautiful trees like a rich brocade or tapestry and that I want to kill that deer!

Luckily I do have another A. japonicum an Otaki. The leaves are not deeply divided like Mai kujaku and it doesn't get the very colorful leaves in fall, it just turns a dark maroonish green and dull yellow but the tree shape is very nice. More tree like and less shrubby. I'll post a picture later.

Kris at Blithewold said...

I love the 'Aconitifolium' - Bwold's has turned the most outstanding colors and it looks like yours has too. Don't you think this has been an especially spectacular fall? I heard URI's Brian Maynard predict brown and boring color - it's been quite the opposite up here.

Sandy Carlson said...

Marvelous photographs. Such gentle color. I have never seen Japanese maples exhibit such subtle shading. Thanks for this.

Annie in Austin said...

They're all beautiful, DFP. I love your photos!

But wouldn't it be more ecological for Ki to eat the deer? [guess that includes squirrels, or rabbits, or groundhogs].

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

misti said...

I love our red maples here in Florida. Probably our little bit of red we get in the Fall. I think some of the other maples will work further north though

Annie said...

Hi DFP, you present a wonderful lot of information here. I didn't know about the varieties, had never thought to ask, only assumed there was one kind of Japanese Maple. There's a whole big world out there waiting for me to learn more, isn't there. Thanks for being one of my teachers today.

Photographer Italy said...

Thanks for the picture and for the amazinf information about flowers and plants.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

I haven't heard of that one before so I will look for your picture. The deer seem to favor the Japonicums. Although they seem to leave them alone a little when they get older.
I know what you mean about the deer. I consider myself an animal lover but the deer are just too much around here sometimes.

Hi kris, thanks so much for visiting. I am surprised more people don't grow this tree. My wife and I are definitely coming to Bworld next season. I hope we get to meet you as you are an inspiration to both of us (Karen is a professional, too).

sandy, That is a nice thing about having a big collection of JM's at work. They are just amazing and put on a varied show. They are a very photogenic tree. BTW this picture only partially captures the shading and colors of this tree.

Hi annie in austin, if you don't have deer you are lucky, they can be so destructive. Sometimes what they don't eat they stomp to death. I better not say anything more before I get upset. I don't mind nature adding in some deer but we are completely over run now.
Thanks for stopping by and I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your bloom day post.

misti, I would trade your weather and extended gardening season for these colors.

annie, hi, that is one thing I like about the botanical world. There is always something new to see and learn. I have been doing this a long time and I am still learning new stuff all the time.

photographer italy, I haven't seen you here before so welcome and thanks for visiting. I am going to check out your site.

Kusum said...

Lovely pic of Maple.