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The Plant Guide

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Full-moon maple

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'

AY-sir jah-PON-ih-kum

Full-moon maple has deeply lobed leaves, crimson autumn color, and plenty of small, reddish flowers in spring. It can be grown as a small tree or multi-stemmed shrub. Its growth habit is mounded, bushy, and spreading. The cultivar name ‘Aconitifolium’ refers to the fact that its ferny foliage resembles that of monkshood ( Aconitum ). This beautiful tree makes a great specimen plant and is very hardy.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsGood fall color; deeply lobed leaves; free-flowering.

CareAverage, well-drained soil in part shade (leaves may burn in full sun). Protect from strong winds. Stake for more upright growth, or leave alone to create a cascade of foliage. Prune only from late autumn to mid-winter.

PropagationGraft in late winter; bud in late summer. Sow seed in situ or in containers outdoors as soon as ripe.

ProblemsMaples are prone to aphids, scale insects, and caterpillars; Verticillium wilt, tar spot, and various fungal leaf spots and roots are common. Branch cankers and heart and wood rots also occur.

  • Genus : Acer
  • Plant Height : 15 to 30 feet
  • Plant Width : 15 to 30 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Red
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
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