Acer palmatum ‘Aka-shime-no-uchi’
Common name: Japanese maple
Acer palmatum ‘Aka-shime-no-uchi’ is a Japanese maple that turns crimson-red in fall. Its Japanese name (Aka-shime-no-uchi) tells you to expect this dramatic leaf colour to be a grand finale - an impressive end to the show. It leafs out in spring with gentle, pale lilac foliage. Then the leaves turn bronze in summer. Growing to about 3 m/9 ft or more in both height and width, this Japanese maple is best planted in an elevated position. You can look up into its slender thread-like leaves and admire them from spring to fall.
A well-placed tree near the high end of the Japanese Garden, our Japanese maple has some good tree company. Two conifers - Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora) and Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi). In the fall picture, you can see the larch needles have turned yellow and light up the crimson-red leaf colour of the maple. And the pine tree seems to be taking a look, wondering what colour is coming next.
VanDusen has only one ‘Aka-shime-no-uchi’. It was planted in 2013 and is thriving. It has everything it needs. An elevated position in partial shade with good drainage - as well as plants and people that appreciate it. The pictures with the crimson-red leaves were taken in early November. The ones with pale lilac leaves are from early June.
Story and photos by Hughie Jones.