Acer japonicum

mondo-del-giardino acer japonicum copertina


Scientific name:

Acer japonicum

mondo-del-giardino acer japonicum plant

Italian common name:

Acero giapponese




Species native to the Far East: China, Korea, Japan


In its places of origin it lives in hilly and mountain broad-leaved forests, in a temperate climate and on fresh, moist soil, rich in organic substances. It prefers environments with a mild climate, with not very hot summers and not excessively cold winters, and tolerates low temperatures, even prolonged ones, as long as they are not lower than -15°C.

Evergreen or deciduous:


mondo-del-giardino acer japonicum orange





2 – 6 m (rarely higher)

Width (extension):

2,5 – 5 m


upright arboreal, irregular or shrubby


palmate, rounded in shape with numerous lobes, usually 11 but can also be 7 or 13 on the same individual, and deeply incised almost up to the attachment of the petiole. This particular shape resembles that of a fern. Variable in color depending on the species, in autumn it changes color becoming from orange to pink to red, with the margins often lighter.


Hermaphroditic or unisexual male flowers, very small, gathered in erect or pendulous corymbs; they have yellow-red calyx composed of 5 petals, 5 sepals and yellow stamens

Flowering:mondo-del-giardino acer japonicum stamen

April – May


Disamare (double samaras) measuring 1.5-2 cm each, with short wings diverging by approximately 160°, long pedunculated and containing a rounded seed of 5-8 mm


slender, sinuous stem, grey-brown in color depending on the variety


purely ornamental






Light Exposure:

partial shade, bright shade

Soil type:

Humid, clayey, sandy, slightly acidic, rich in organic substance, medium texture

Soil acidity:

pH 5,8 – 6

Italian climatic area:

Cultivated in almost all of Italy, it however prefers regions with a more rigid climate and therefore mountainous ones.

Need for water:

it loves humidity but not water stagnation. Therefore watering must be frequent but slowly and non-aggressively.


multiply by seeds during autumn-winter, as they need to cool before germinating. Also for cuttings in spring.


excessive pruning would compromise its natural shape. The solution is to limit yourself to a small cut and remove the dead branches, without going further. Furthermore, from time to time we must check whether the branches cover the trunk; in this case we can cut them without problems.


aphids, fungal diseases, in particular powdery mildew and rust. If the plant is still young it is necessary to intervene promptly with copper sulphate (verdigris) but if the plant is already adult it will hardly be attacked by parasites.

PARTICULARITY mondo-del-giardino acer japonicum brown

With Acer palmatum it is among the most used Japanese maples in Italy.

In Japan, the common name of the maple tree is “momiji”. There are two possible meanings associated with this term. The first is “baby hands” and the second is “turns crimson leaves,” according to the Arbor Day website. The specific Latin attribute japonicum refers to the geographical area of ​​origin of the species.

The correct amount of water and sunlight are crucial for the development of this tree.

It is important to ensure that the soil remains moist but not wet and that the tree gets morning and evening sunlight to reach its full potential.

Protect the Japanese maple from hot afternoon sun and strong winds, which will damage or even burn the beautiful red or green leaves. Humid conditions are this tree’s perfect comfort zone.


rustic deciduous plants because they tolerate frost well, but can suffer from late frosts and must be sheltered from cold winds. They prefer humid air and it is best to avoid direct sun in summer. They are demanding regarding the soil, which must be fresh, well drained but capable of retaining humidity, fertile and with an acidic pH (they do not tolerate basic soil). They grow well in a partially shaded position, where the sun’s rays never hit the leaves during the hours when they are strongest.

Plant used in our country for ornamental purposes to obtain particular aesthetic-chromatic and decorative effects. Species widely used in Japan as bonsai

There are different cultivars, all of which are characterized by a brilliant color of the leaves which show their best in autumn.

In the kitchen:

it is not used.

If you want to buy a good plant, contact a specialized nursery. In the province of Monza and Brianza there is Aceri di Omate


Each Japanese maple grows with its own shape, often crooked and all on one side, but this is its beauty. Maple has character and you don’t deserve to have it if you don’t respect this characteristic, so if you take it hoping that it will go where you want you should choose another plant.

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Image sources: thanks to Pixabay and many thanks to Kanenori for the social cover, ?♡?♡? Julita ?♡?♡? for the cover, and in order of insertion Leopictures, TiNo Heusinger, Annette Meyer,, Ilona Ilyés, Zdeněk Chalupský, Didier MOSIN and again ?♡?♡? Julita ?♡?♡? for the closing image.