Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers lightly dappled shade. Leaves may scorch in full sun in hot southern summers. Plant in a location protected from strong winds. Stake trunk for more erect growth or leave alone for full cascading effect.
Acer palmatum, commonly called Japanese Maple, is a deciduous shrub or small tree that typically grows to 10-25' (infrequently to 40') tall. It is native to Japan, Korea and China. General plant form is rounded to broad-rounded, often with low branching. Each palmate green leaf (2-5" long) has 5 to 7 but less frequently 9 toothed lobes. Small reddish-purple flowers in umbels bloom in spring (April) followed by winged samaras in pairs which ripen in September-October. Fall color includes an often spectacular combination of shades of yellow, red, purple and bronze.
Genus name of Acer is the Latin name for a maple tree.
Specific epithet is in reference to the palmate nature of the leaves. Each leaf has several lobes (typically 5–7) that all originate from one point looking like an open hand with outstretched fingers.
The botanical variety name of dissectum means deeply cut in reference to the deeply cut, feathery nature of the leaves.
Var. dissectum is typically a much smaller, rounded, slow-growing shrubby form (often with cascading branching) that rarely matures to more than 12' tall with a larger spread. Palmate leaves, each having 7-11 deeply incised lobes, are deeply cut to the base of the leaf. These dissected-leaf shrubs are commonly called laceleaf Japanese maple, cutleaf Japanese maple or threadleaf Japanese maple.
'Crimson Queen' is a popular cultivar noted for its excellent leaf color retention throughout the growing season. Small reddish flowers in spring give way to samaras which ripen in late summer to early fall. As with many maples, the flowers are rather attractive close up, but are not particularly showy from a distance.
No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to stem canker. Foliage tends to leaf out early in spring and is subject to damage from late frosts.
Dwarf cascading tree or shrub grown primarily for its attractive foliage and shape. Specimen/accent or group around the home or yard or periphery of the border or rock garden. Multi-stemmed shrub form is effective in small groupings in shrub borders. Cascading effect can be showcased by planting at the side of a pond or stream.