33. Japanese Maple

(Acer palmatum)

Other Common Name: Smooth Japanese Maple

Family: Aceraceae

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A Japanese maple is west of the Music building facing Miller Hall. There is no tree native in North America has as many ornamental varieties as the Japanese maple. Acer palmatum, while one of 20 maple species native in Japan, is the most common and widely variable. Depending on the variety, it can range from a low bush to a 60 foot (18.3 meter) high tree. The species name palmatum refers to the hand-like shape of the leaves, which can vary greatly in laciness. In color they vary delightfully too. The Music building example has a red tinge at its leaf tips that gives the whole tree a bronze appearance. This tree is planted almost totally as an ornamental. There are hundreds of variations within this species, in terms of form, color, leaf type, size, and preferred growing conditions.

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