We finally have proof that spring has arrived: the Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum) are showing their colors at Puget Sound Plants. While we have several incredible varieties in stock here at our growing site, today we wanted to feature the variegated varieties. A variegated maple refers to the varied colors on the leaves. Variegation often shows up as white, pink or peachy patches on otherwise green leaves. These patches can look like stripes, spots, mottled areas or even off-colored margins. The affect, as you can see below, is striking and beautiful; variegated maples are extremely popular and create eye-catching focal points in many landscapes. Here are a few of our favorites:
Butterfly: The â€˜Butterflyâ€™ is a delicate, unique tree on the smaller end of the scale. It reaches a shrub-like height of 10-12 feet or so. Its distinctive beauty comes in its foliage. â€˜Butterflyâ€™ has deeply divided, gray-green leaves with creamy margins that are often tinged pink in the spring and scarlet in the fall. This is a detail-oriented Japanese maple. It looks lovely from afar but, to see its true splendor, one must look up close.
Ukigumo: A colorful but petite tree, the â€˜Ukigumoâ€™ reaches about 6 feet both in height and width. Itâ€™s deeply dissected foliage is a gorgeous mottled green, with white and pink patches throughout. Itâ€™s often called the â€˜Floating Cloudâ€™ maple, for the pastel palette splashed across each leaf. Fall colors blaze in shades of crimson and firey orange. Try adding outdoor lights beneath this beauty for a 24 hour display. Best in partialÂ shade.
Orido Nishiki: This maple is one of the best for creating a focal point in the garden. The foliage can be extremely diverse so itâ€™s fascinating to keep a close eye on it. Variegation begins in spring with bright pink, white and cream foliage, with some green. Some leaves are even entirely white! Create a luminescent glow by placing outdoor lighting beneath this gorgeous specimen. It grows quite slowly, reaching 15-18 feet in as many years, and has a lovely natural shape.
Beni Shishihenge: This tree is most noted for its unique foliage. Leaves appear green in the center, with pinkish-white borders, giving a lovely mottled effect. In the fall, the effect remains dramatic, with the addition of bright red and orange accents. In Japanese, its name means â€œred and changingâ€. This small, upright tree will eventually reach 10 feet but is quite slow-growing. This maple is more tolerant of bright sun and warmer temperatures so it can withstand hotter summers than most.
Toyama nishiki: A creamy, pinkish spring delight! This gorgeous Laceleaf maple produces light green foliage with lightly rosy variegation each spring. Itâ€™s a delicate, unique specimen with fine features and deeply cut leaves that give a very artistic appearance. Fall foliage changes from creamy pastels to fiery reds and oranges, to light up the landscape. It reaches its full height of 6 feet in about 12 years and prefers sun or full shade.
All photos curtsey of Northscaping.com