Slow-growing and suitable for container growing, Acer palmatum is the perfect species for small gardens. Also known as Japanese maple, varieties differ in their colouration and degree of dissection, but remain similar in their graceful nature and stunning colour, especially come Autumn. With a compact, non-invasive, root system, palmatum grow fantastically with companion plants and are a great choice for a bonsai.
Bearing similarity to its original Japanese name (kaede "hands of frogs"), palmatum means "leaf shaped like a hand" and was named by Carl Peter Thunberg "the Japanese Linnaeus", back in the 18th century. Widely propagated, palmatum is now available in hundreds of commercial cultivars. Popular varieties include the purple leaved 'Bloodgood', the variegated 'Orange Dream' - a fantastic mix of yellow and orange - and dissectum, notable for its highly dissected leaves.