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.
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 gallons available for sale in April/May 2021.