Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’

Japanese Acer, Japanese Maple, Fernleaf Fullmoon Maple

Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’, commonly known as Fernleaf Fullmoon Maple, is a captivating deciduous tree that adds a touch of elegance to any landscape. Renowned for its exquisite foliage, this Japanese maple features deeply lobed, fern-like leaves that unfold in various shades of green in the spring, turning vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold during autumn, creating a breathtaking visual display.

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Origin: Japan, Korea, China, eastern Mongolia, and southeast Russia
Genus: Acer
Species / Cultivar: japonicum 'Aconitifolium'
Common Name: Japanese Acer, Japanese Maple, Fernleaf Fullmoon Maple

Plant Biography

The background of Acer palmatum hybrids can be traced back to Japan, where the parent species, Acer palmatum, is native. Over centuries, Japanese gardeners and horticulturists selectively bred and cultivated various varieties of Acer palmatum to enhance specific traits, such as leaf shapes, colours, and growth habits. These efforts resulted in a rich diversity of Acer palmatum cultivars, celebrated for their exquisite and ornamental features.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, these hybrids found their way to Europe and North America, captivating gardeners worldwide. Today, Acer palmatum hybrids continue to be cherished and extensively cultivated, gracing landscapes and gardens with their mesmerising foliage and adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to outdoor spaces.

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'
Soil: Moist but Well Drained
Soil that allows water to drain at a moderate rate, without the water pooling.
Growth Rate: Slow
This plant is particularly slow to grow, even during growing season.
Water Requirement: High
Likely to require supplementary watering in warmer months, even once established.
Maintenance: A little
Easy to look after but may occasionally require some attention in order to thrive.
Situation: Part Shade to Full Shade
Can enjoy several hours of direct sunlight, but also happy in full shade.
Eventual Height: 4-8m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 4-8m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Caring for Acer palmatum ‘Aconitifolium’ is relatively simple. Plant it in a location with partial shade, providing protection from intense afternoon sun. Ensure the soil is well-draining and consistently moist, especially during dry spells. Mulching around the base helps retain soil moisture and regulate temperature. Regular watering is essential, but avoid waterlogged conditions.

Its moderate size and rounded form make it an excellent choice for gardens, courtyards, or even container planting. ‘Aconitifolium’ thrives in well-drained, slightly acidic soil and prefers dappled sunlight or partial shade, protecting it from harsh afternoon sun. With its unique texture, brilliant autumnal colours, and graceful growth, this cultivar is highly sought-after for its ornamental value. Whether as a focal point or a harmonious garden element, it effortlessly elevates the beauty and allure of outdoor spaces.

Prune sparingly to maintain its natural form and remove any dead or crossing branches. ‘Aconitifolium’ is generally pest-resistant, but keeping an eye out for aphids and other common pests is recommended. With proper care and attention, this unique Japanese maple cultivar will thrive, showcasing its exquisite lace-like foliage and adding a touch of elegance to any garden or landscape.


Expert Tip

Mulch heavily with bark chippings to conserve soil moisture and to regulate soil temperature.


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