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ACER palmatum 'Moonfire'

Image of Acer palmatum 'Moonfire'

James H. Schutte

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER palmatum 'Moonfire'

Plant Common Name

Japanese Maple, Moonfire Japanese Maple

General Description

Japanese maple is a small deciduous tree native to eastern Asia. The cultivar 'Moonfire' features deeply lobed, palmate (hand-shaped) leaves which emerge purple-red in spring and deepen to burgundy-red in summer. This color persists longer than that of most other red-leaved cultivars. In fall, the leaves turn fiery tones. In winter, the stark gray branches will add to any garden or landscape.

This Japanese maple prefers sites with rich, acidic, well-drained soil and part sun to part shade. Growth is relatively fast when for the first few years, then slows. This plant is versatile in the landscape and may be grown as a garden specimen, in a mixed border, or in a container.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 2

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    12'-15' / 3.7m - 4.6m

  • Width

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia, China, Japan, Korea

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Red

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Purple, Burgundy, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Purple, Burgundy, Dark Red, Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes