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Acer palmatum 'Atropurpureum'

Red Japanese Maple
  • Plant Type:
  • Tree
  • Evergreen-Deciduous:
  • Deciduous
  • Overall Mature Size:
  • Medium
  • Also Grown As:
  • Natural Low Branching
  • Mature Height & Spread :
  • 20' x 20'
  • Natural Growth Habit:
  • Rounded
  • Native To:
  • Asia, Japan
  • Exposure:
  • Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Water:
  • Medium Water
  • Flower Color:
  • Insignificant
  • Special Features:
  • Attracts Birds/Butterflies, Cold Hardy, Deer Resistant, Fall Color, Intermountain Conditions, Shade Tolerant
  • Container Sizes:
  • #5, #15, 24" Box, 36" Box
  • Sunset Garden Zones:
  • 2-10, 12, 14-24
  • Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone:
  • 5


This stunning deciduous tree often tops tree lovers’ wish lists. An enviable form and consistently wine-red colored lobed leaves make a bold statement in otherwise green landscapes. With the toothed leaves morphing from deep purple to bronze to bronze green before a fall turn to an even more brilliant scarlet, the Red Japanese Maple offers year-round interest. Topping out at 15-20 feet with about half that spread, it delights in full sun to partial shade and makes an excellent subject for bonsai and/or containers. Its natural umbrella shape may have many trunks with branches brushing the ground if not pruned. Its slow growth habit accommodates pruning procrastinators. Pretty red winged fruit or samaras introduce further textural interest. In southern California and other warm climates, it is wise to shelter it from hot, dry winds and direct sun and to give it consistent water. Red Japanese Maples are particularly stunning grouped in groves. Their non-invasive root systems make them excellent subjects next to patios or walkways. The Japanese maples were introduced to western society by the Swedish doctor, Carl Peter Thunberg who named the species “palmatum” for its leaves’ resemblance to the open human palm. Japanese maples resist oak root fungus and is not prone to pest or disease problems.