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ACER capillipes

Image of Acer capillipes

Jesse Saylor

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER capillipes

Plant Common Name

Snakebark Maple

General Description

One of a number of maples renowned for their handsome striped green bark, this small deciduous tree is native to Japan. Dense and spreading, it bears glossy, dark green, shallowly three-lobed leaves on red stems. The leaves turn dazzling shades of red and orange in fall. The trunk and older branches are purple-brown with green and white striations. New twigs are purple-red. Clusters of small chartreuse flowers in spring give rise to bunches of dangling winged red-brown fruits that are often borne in striking profusion.

This lovely and underused tree likes well-drained, humus-rich, acidic soil and sun or light shade. It is more tolerant of hot summers than are most other stripebark maples. Plant it in a woodland edge or as an understory tree, preferably where its colorful bark can be seen and appreciated at close hand. It is typically short-lived.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    25'-40' / 7.6m - 12.2m

  • Width

    25'-40' / 7.6m - 12.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green, Chartreuse

  • Fruit Color

    Burgundy, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Orange, Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    White, Green, Purple, Brown, Ivory

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Shade Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No