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Marquand Park Foundation, P.O. Box 415

Lover's Lane, Princeton NJ 08542

Common Name

Threadleaf Japanese maple

Scientific Name

  Acer palmatum  Thunb. var. dissectum  (Sapindaceae, Sapindales)

Inventory Numbers: 651


This tree is a slow grower achieving in youth 10 – 15’ in a decade. There are hundreds of garden cultivars of this species showing a wide range of color and leaf shape. This tree is a slow grower achieving in youth 10 – 15’ in a decade. This species was introduced to Europeans in 1783 but a trade embargo with Japan delayed its introduction into western cultivation until 1820. Acer is the Latin name for maple trees


Specimen Provenance:

Common name:

Species Origin: China, Japan , Korea

New Jersey Status: USDA Introduced

Habit: Small tree to large shrub. 10 – 25’ tall x 10 – 30’ wide; bole 8 – 12”.

Habitat: Zones 5 – 8. Found in thickets.

Trunk/Stem: Bark brown-gray smooth. Contorted trunk and branches. Leaves in horizontal layering.

Leaves: Deciduous, Simple, Opposite. Overall leaf pattern is round with a cordate base. Each leaf blade with seven, nine or eleven lobes each lobe also finely cut and each division toothed. Cultivars vary in division fineness and blade color.

Flowers: Monoecious. Small red purple in upright to drooping stalked umbels of up to 20 individual flowers in spring as the leaves emerge. Red sepals and white petals.

Fruits and seeds: Joined pair of samara with green or red wings, 3/8”; obtuse angle. Pedicels may remain after the samaras shed.

Characteristics: There are hundreds of garden cultivars of this species showing a wide range of color and leaf shape. This tree is a slow grower achieving in youth 10 – 15’ in a decade. This species was introduced to Europeans in 1783 but a trade embargo with Japan delayed its introduction into western cultivation until 1820. Acer is the Latin name for maple trees

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