Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum 'Atropurpureum'

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: palmatum (pahl-MAY-tum) (Info)
Cultivar: Atropurpureum
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Palmatum (deeply divided leaves)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Provides winter interest

Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)

Eureka, California

Garberville, California

Sacramento, California

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Palmyra, Illinois

Melbourne, Kentucky

Alden, New York

Elba, New York

Piqua, Ohio

North Augusta, South Carolina

Winnsboro, South Carolina

Tyler, Texas

Bellingham, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 1, 2009, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

When we moved to this Petersburg, Virginia, Zone 7-A house and yard in 1996, there were two mature acer palmatum atropurpureums on either side of the house in the front yard. They were graceful and colorful, the bright red of early spring darkening and then becoming more of a purplish bronze in the heat of deep summer. One of them died in 2005; an extension agent (who was given soil and plant samples) said that it was probably because it was nearing the end of its lifespan of about sixty to seventy years. The surviving tree must be twenty-five feet tall, and although it looks healthy, I don't know how much longer it has to live. The two maples have put out hundreds (thousands?) of seedlings, apparently something which happens then they near the end. They will come up in flowerbeds, i... read more


On Mar 16, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Acer palmatum atropurpureum SDLG. RED JAPAN. MAPLE Dec (z5) (Bonsai)
Similar in size & habit to the species, but with smaller, deeply-lobed leaves which are bright red in spring and fall, & tinged with reddish-bronze throughout the summer. These are seed-grown. Sun-Psh/Med