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ACER palmatum 'Red Emperor'

Image of Acer palmatum 'Red Emperor'

Maureen Gilmer

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER palmatum 'Red Emperor'

Plant Common Name

Japanese Maple, Red Emperor Japanese Maple

General Description

The beautiful Japanese maple is a small deciduous tree from eastern Asia. Its cultivar 'Red Emperor' features deeply lobed, palmate (hand-shaped) leaves, which emerge purple-red in spring, deepen to burgundy-red in summer, and turn fiery tones in fall. In winter, its stark gray bark and branches will add interest to any garden or landscape.

One of the hardiest cultivars of Japanese maple (to zone 5), it prefers sites with rich, well drained soil and part sun to part shade. This exceptional selection is versatile in the landscape and may be grown as a feature plant, in a mixed border, or in a container. It is also amenable to bonsai training.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 2

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 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

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Width

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • 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)

    Purple, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Burgundy, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, 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

    Medium

  • 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