Japanese Maple 'Atropurpureum'

Acer palmatum

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


Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

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:

, (2 reports)

Eureka, California

Garberville, California

Sacramento, California

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Palmyra, Illinois

Melbourne, Kentucky

Bel Air, Maryland

Cape May, New Jersey

Alden, New York

Elba, New York

Climax, North Carolina

Piqua, Ohio

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Reading, Pennsylvania

North Augusta, South Carolina

Winnsboro, South Carolina

Tyler, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Bellingham, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 7, 2016, BilliesBloomers from Climax, NC wrote:

I really like the 'atropurpurpeum' just as much as any of the other cultivars we have. 'Bloodgood' and other small named varieties are great for being able to plant a tree that will surely stay small and fit in a garden space, but this variety is perfect for a shade tree in the long run. They have never disappointed me with their nearly year-round show. I have bloodgoods and other special cultivars of the same age (20+ yrs) that pale in comparison many times to my mother atropurpurpeum. The reason for this is the range of color from spring to fall. I love the gradient of purple/green in the spring almost as much as the crazy bright fall palate. I say palate because the leaves are never one flat color, this branch will be more green sometimes and that one more red/purple or red/orange.... read more


On Jul 15, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This is by far the most commonly planted of the Japanese Maple types. It is a very common tree in the landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic. Probably about 1 out of 10 to 20 yards in the Philadelphia region has one planted in the front yard; it is way over-done and too obvious, taking away from the view of the house!. The general public likes it so much, they will find a seedling growing somewhere, plant it, and then wait about 20 years before it is finally an official tree of about 15 feet high. Slow growing (about 3/4 foot/year) and expensive to buy. When the weather turns hot, this variety loses some of its constantly reddish foliage color to become reddish-green, then it turns really bright red in the autumn. The 'Bloodgood' cultivar holds the color better in summer.


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 8a) 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