Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’ Leaf (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)
Position: Sun to dappled shade
Flowering period: Early spring
Soil: Moist, well drained
Eventual Height: 2.5m
Eventual Spread: 3m
Hardiness: 5b -9a
Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’ is a slow growing, dome shaped, deciduous small tree or large shrub . Its purple leaves are palmate with up to 9 acutely pointed lobes with serrate margins, up to 12cm long and broad. Its leaves emerge orange in spring and turn bright red in autumn before falling. Its bark is grey/ brown/ green and smooth. Its small white flowers are small cymes with five purple sepals. Its fruit is a pair of winged samaras, each being up to 3cm long and ripening in autumn. Its root system is relatively compact for a plant of this size.
The species Acer palmatum, commonly known as Japanese Maple or Smooth Japanese Maple, is native to Japan, Korea, China and south east Russia. In its native habitat it grows as an understory plant in woodlands. It was introduced into the UK in 1820. Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’ is commonly known as the Cut-leaf Maple.
Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’ (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)
The etymology of the binomial name Acer is derived from the classical Latin name for the Maple. Palmatum is from the Latin meaning ‘palm like’, in reference to the leaves.
The landscape architect may find Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’ useful as a large specimen shrub, particularly in a sheltered light shade location.
Ecologically, A. palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’ seedsprovides food for some mammals and its branch structure provides shelter for birds and mammals.
A. palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’ prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil, although it prefers neutral to acid soil. It will not tolerate dry soils.
Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’ requires little maintenance.