Acer palmatum, Japanese Maple

(about 1000 cultivars, more common than the species itself)

Size: tree, 40-50' average height at maturity

Buds: terminal absent, base surrounded by papery sheath that is densely hairy along margin, 4 pairs of scales

Leaves: deciduous, opposite, usually 2.5-3" long and wide, vary with cultivar from less than 1" to more than 5", simple, palmate, usually 5-7 lobes, sometimes 9, margins usually serrate

Color: often various shades of green in summer, wide range of spring, summer and fall colors in cultivars, as well as intense pinks, brick and blood red, and many shades of orange

Twigs: glabrous, often red or green depending on cultivar

Flowers: monoecious, white or reddish depending on cultivar, inconspicuous

Bark: green or gray-brown depending on cultivar, sometimes attractively striped with white on young wood