Japanese Maple 'Purple Ghost'

Acer palmatum

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: palmatum (pahl-MAY-tum) (Info)
Cultivar: Purple Ghost
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Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


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

Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

By grafting

By budding

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Castro Valley, California

Garberville, California

Marietta, Georgia

Ware, Massachusetts

Lake Crystal, Minnesota

Tupelo, Mississippi

Kansas City, Missouri

Benson, North Carolina

Sherwood, Oregon

Disputanta, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 27, 2011, plantoid from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Purple Ghost is one of my top two to three favorites. It has an almost unrivaled purplish carmine red color in spring that just screams for attention. This phase lasts for about 6 to 8 weeks. Then as summer kicks in its color slowly fades to a muted reddish green. Then it turns bright red again in late fall. It's one of the last to go dormant, giving a long display in the fall. I planted it in full sun in central coastal California. It suffers from minor sunburn, but the brown tips are only noticeable at close distances.


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

Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost' (Dec) (z6)
A knock-out in summer with DEEP purple foliage veined in black (when grown in sun), this upright (20-30') maple steals the show again in fall when it turns orange-to-red. Sun-PSh/Med


On Jun 17, 2005, DLHnursery from Benson, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

We planted a young grafted Purple Ghost in our front yard just a few years ago - it's 3-4' tall now. Really pretty, holds its deep color very well in sun; very noticeable from spring through fall from well over 100 yards away.

The originator of the 'Ghost' series of Japanese maple cultivars seems to be Talon Bucholz, Bucholz & Bucholz Nursery, OR.