Acer palmatum Dragon’s Fire is a lace leaf weeping maple with very fine leaves. It is also a new cultivar for my nursery. Spring growth is a bright red turning to a darker red in the summer. In the fall this weeper can show yellow to orange color changing to a final crimson color before the leaves drop. As with all lace leaf maples only the outside leaves that reach the sun are colored – the leaves underneath are green. The reason is simple. Photosynthesis adds the colors to the leaves. This is not a large fast growing lace leaf maple. The overall umbrella shape is soft and lacy looking from spring through fall. This is a a lovely maple for smaller space near a waterfall or pond and can be grown in a container on a patio or deck.
This maple prefers mostly sun, but may need some protection from the hot afternoon sun in areas where the temperatures stay in the 90s and 100s. However, I have been told once the roots are established this maple may be able to handle full sun. If you are going to grow this maple in a container then you will need afternoon shade as containers allow the roots to get hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. Additionally, slow glowing maples require less water than fast growing ones. When you plant a slow growing cultivar in a container please remember to not oversize the container for the size of the root ball and use less water than you normally would. Please see Care and Maintenance of Japanese Maples.
Acer palmatum Dragon’s Fire is a rare and unusual lace leaf maple may reach 3′ tall and wide in 10 years. It is a slow grower and may need some pruning to enhance its overall structure. For more information see Pruning Japanese Maples. Once established this maple is hardy to -20 degrees, USDA zone 5.
If you love Japanese Maples as much as I do, you can learn more about them by joining the Facebook Group – Japanese Maples and Conifers.It is free to join – you just have to be a Facebook member and the contributors to the group have a wealth of experience and lots of photos. This is what I value the most – learning about variations of growth, leaf size and color in different sections of the USA and around the world. I often participate in the discussions.
Limited availability – I will have 1 gallon size available for shipment in April/May 2021.