Acer palmatum, called Japanese maple or smooth Japanese-maple (Japanese: irohamomiji, イロハモミジ, or momiji, 紅葉) is a species of woody plant native to Japan, North Korea, South Korea, eastern Mongolia, and southeast Russia. Many different cultivars of this maple have been selected and they are grown worldwide for their large variety of attractive forms, leaf shapes, and spectacular leaf colours, especially during autumn.
Acer palmatum is a deciduous shrub or small tree reaching heights of 6 to 10 m, rarely 16 metres, often growing as an understory plant in shady woodlands. It may have multiple trunks joining close to the ground. In habit, it is often shaped like a hemisphere (especially when younger) or takes on a dome-like form, especially when mature.
The leaves are 4–12 cm long and wide, palmately lobed with five, seven, or nine acutely pointed lobes. The flowers are produced in small cymes, the individual flowers with five red or purple sepals and five whitish petals. The fruit is a pair of winged samaras, each samara 2–3 cm long with a 6–8 mm seed. The seeds of Japanese maple and similar species require stratification in order to germinate.
This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.