|Classification System: APG III (down to family level)|
Acer palmatum, called Japanese Maple or Smooth Japanese Maple is a woody plant species native to Japan, North Korea, South Korea, China, eastern Mongolia, and southeast Russia. Many different cultivars of this maple have been selected and they are grown worldwide for their attractive leaf shapes and colours. A deciduous shrub or small tree reaching heights of 6 to 10 m (20 to 33 ft), rarely 16 metres (52 ft), often growing as an understory plant in shady woodlands. The leaves are 4–12 cm long and wide, palmately lobed with five, seven, or nine acutely pointed lobes. Flowers are produced in small cymes, the individual flowers with five red or purple sepals and five whitish petals while the fruit is a pair of winged samaras, each samara 2–3 cm long with a 6–8 mm seed.
Acer palmatum subsp. palmatum. Leaves small, 4–7 cm wide, with five or seven lobes and double-serrate margins; seed wings 10–15 mm. Lower altitudes throughout central and southern Japan (not Hokkaido). Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum (Carrière) H.Hara. Leaves larger, 6–12 cm wide, with seven or nine lobes and single-serrate margins; seed wings 20–25 mm. Higher altitudes throughout Japan and South Korea. Acer palmatum subsp. matsumurae Koidz. Leaves larger, 6–12 cm wide, with seven (rarely five or nine) lobes and double-serrate margins; seed wings 15–25 mm. Higher altitudes throughout Japan.
Acer palmatum Thunb. (1784)
- Acer palmatum var. coreanum Nakai, Fl. Sylv. Kor. 1: 10, t. 3 (1915).
- Acer palmatum var. koreanum Nakai, Rep. Veg. Isl. Quelp.: 61 (1914).
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