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ACER pseudoplatanus 'Atropurpureum'

Image of Acer pseudoplatanus 'Atropurpureum'

Jesse Saylor

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER pseudoplatanus 'Atropurpureum'

Plant Common Name

Sycamore Maple

General Description

An adaptable and variable deciduous tree from Europe and West Asia, sycamore maple is named for its foliage, which resembles that of planetree. The three- to five-lobed leaves of 'Atropurpureum' open burgundy-purple and mature to green with purple undersides. They may turn yellow in fall. The purple, two-winged fruits – known as samaras – drop from the tree in helicopter fashion. They are preceded by inconspicuous spring flowers. Introduced in 1883, this cultivar grows relatively rapidly into a medium to large, dome-shaped tree with flaky gray bark.

Happy in almost any well-drained soil, this tough tree does well in sun or partial shade and tolerates drought and salt spray. It often self-sows in favorable environments, sometimes to the point of invasiveness (its sale is banned in Massachusetts and other areas). Seedlings often are true to type. Use it as a shade tree or featured specimen for large properties or difficult sites.

This cultivar is sometimes listed under the name 'Spaethii.'

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    50'-80' / 15.2m - 24.4m

  • Width

    50'-80' / 15.2m - 24.4m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    Europe, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Purple, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Purple, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Purple, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Green

  • 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

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes