Acer shirasawanum Mikado is an upright maple, likely a hybrid with Acer palmatum. Spring leaves are a color that can be described as red-plum. The color remains the same in the summer though it is a little darker changing to orange-red in fall. Mikado can handle full sun and needs at least 5 hours of sun each day to hold its red-plum leaf color. Too little sun and the leaves change to green tones, known as greening out. Estimated to grow to 10′ tall by 5′ wide in 10 years. Once established hardy to -20 degrees. USDA zone 5.
Additionally, shirasawanum maples known as ‘full moon maples’ can be identified by looking at the flowers and subsequent seed pods [samaras]. If they point up rather than hang down it is a shirasawanum – palmatum species hang down. Other ‘full moon maples’ I have at the nursery includeAutumn Moon,Johin, Jordan, Kawaii, Moonrise, Red Dawn, SensuandShira Red. Of course the most famous is the ‘Golden Full Moon Maple – Aureum.
Acer palmatum Mikado – the first and second photos are courtesy of Buchholz and Buchholz Nursery. The last photo shows two leaves I saved – fall 2017.
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