Acer, Fernleaf Full Moon Maple, Japanese Maple 'Aconitifolium'

Acer japonicum

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: japonicum (juh-PON-ih-kum) (Info)
Cultivar: Aconitifolium
Additional cultivar information:(aka Maiku jaku, Dancing Peacock)
Synonym:Acer japonicum f. aconitifolium
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Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 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

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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 is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Marietta, Georgia

Champaign, Illinois

Palmyra, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Elkton, Maryland

Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Charlotte, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Euclid, Ohio


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Morrisville, Pennsylvania

Smokerun, Pennsylvania

Walhalla, South Carolina

Millington, Tennessee

Garland, Texas

Mechanicsville, Virginia

Des Moines, Washington

Longview, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

Racine, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 5, 2017, RambleGardens from Falls Church, VA wrote:

How much shade does this tree tolerate? I'm looking to plant on the east side of a home with a fair amount of coverage from a large maple.


On Oct 7, 2009, prairiefaerie from Champaign, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This tree was purchased as a Mother's Day gift for me in 2008, and I LOVE it! We have it in the NE corner of our yard, in the partial shade of a large Magnolia. The tree receives only about 2 hours of direct sun in the summer time, and the winter winds are attenuated in this part of the yard partially by the neighbors 8 ft. privacy fence, and a stand of White Pines. Unfortunately, the tree does receive some direct sunlight in the winter when the magnolia has no leaves, but hopefully (knock on wood) this will not prove to be a problem.


On Mar 31, 2006, conifers from Rock Island, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

A very popular cultivar of Fullmoon Maple. In hot climates such as the midwest or the deep south, this tree will show signs of scorch. Partial sun, therefore is best in these such climates.

This species seems to be more hardy than that of species palmatum (Acer palmatum). A good choice for zone 5a climates.

Photo of its outstanding fall color taken October 25, 2005 in Illinois, USA.


On Apr 27, 2005, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

The leaves on this tree are quite large, about three inches across. In the fall they turn shiny, mottled red and yellow, slowly turning to dark red and then to dull red/brown. It will hold onto it's leaves rather than drop them and I have to remove them to keep the tree tidy in the late fall. New spring foliage is light green with some pink and then darkening some through the summer. Has been known to be called a threadleaf full moon maple.


On Aug 30, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

The common name of "Japanese Maple" is a bit confusing - this species is not as widely known or grown as Acer palmatum. The cultivar 'Aconitifolium' is the most popular of the species; its Japanese name 'Maiku-jaku' reportedly translates as "Dancing Peacock". It has the added benefit of being a bit hardier than A. palmatum

Recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the RHS; deserves to be more widely grown, IMO