Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Variegated Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Orido nishiki’)

Variegated Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum ‘Orido nishiki’
(AY-ser) (pahl-MAY-tum)
Aceraceae (ay-ser-AY-see-ay)

This is one of my favorite Japanese Maples. This one was growing in a pot at Wave Hill Gardens in the Bronx. It is hardy in Connecticut as I have one in the ground in New Canaan and that has turned into quite a handsome tree. Japanese Maples grow very well in containers. I had two in big pots for about 10 years and they grew beautifully. A couple of years ago I decided to plant them in the ground and they have been doing well ever since. It is easier to keep them small when growing them in containers. This is a quite vigorous cultivar in the ground but Wave Hill’s container specimen was perfectly pruned and shaped which is hard to do in the garden. My tree, which hasn’t even thought about opening up its leaves yet, is about 10 feet tall and it planted on the side of an elevated wooden deck. This allows the foliage to kind of poke through the railing and it gives a nice effect. All leaves seem to be variegated a little differently and that adds a bit of interest when viewed closely.

I use Japanese Maples all the time since they are an easy to grow tree without too many problems. The Green Laceleaf Japanese Maple is good for the shade garden. Some of the Orange ones do well there too. A lot of the cultivars have great emerging foliage and if you don’t look closely you can miss it. It is my favorite time of the year to photograph them. Acer is now included in Sapindaceae or the soapberry family. It was recently moved there along with the Horse Chestnuts and Buckeyes (Hippocastanaceae). Here is a link to my favorite book on Japanese Maples by J.D. Vertrees .

Acer palmatum 'Beni komachi’

I took this picture with a Nikon Coolpix 4300 a 4-megapixel camera. It is still one of my favorite cameras. This one is from 2 years ago. Trying to keep up with learning a botanical term a day the description said the leaves of ‘Orido nishiki’ are double dentate.

double dentate:
“Leaf margins are deeply toothed, usually with the teeth directed outward, and toothed again.”


Ki said...

Ahh, now you've come to one of my favorite plants. I have a Orido nishiki that's doing quite well. I love the variegations in the leaves. I don't have the Beni komachi but the new leaves look spectacular. You tempt me.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Nice thing about Beni komachi is it is smaller growing and is doing well in a little more than part shade.

Unknown said...

I'm not a big maple expert, just a big fan and I am completly sure it's not a Beni Komachi, it looks more like the Acer palmatum Alpenweiss in spring. You can see other pictures in this forum :