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Japanese Maple 'Sharp's Pygmy'

Acer palmatum

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: palmatum (pahl-MAY-tum) (Info)
Cultivar: Sharp's Pygmy
» View all varieties of Japanese Maples






18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


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

Garberville, California

Sacramento, California

Euclid, Ohio

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 6, 2010, GardenSox from Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've only had this tree for a year and it has so far lived up to its name, however, in the 4th edition of JD Vertrees' book "Japanese Maples" the information for this tree includes this tidbit that I thought would be useful potential buyers: "This outstanding cultivar is one of the smallest palmatum cultivars, but is not a dwarf as originally supposed . . . 'Sharp's Pygmy' forms a densely foliaged, compact, low-spreading tree up to 3m (10 ft.) tall. It needs no pruning or training to give it a bonsai -like appearance. It is a truly remarkable dwarf."

So I'm a bit confused. It may or may not be a dwarf in 10 years but so far this tree has remained small (about 12-16 inches) for me.


On Mar 4, 2005, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I've had this plant since 1999 and it is still only 8 inches tall! It is one of the smallest dwarf Japanese maples available. It is unusual in that it is one of the few grown from cuttings rather than grafting. It is ideal for bonsai, a rock garden or a small container. Spring foliage is green with a red cast, becoming green in summer then a mix of yellow, orange and red in fall. Truly a spectacular dwarf!