Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Maple Fest stars - part 1

by aleks
11/6/11 Edit:  added a few pics to show how the fall maple color progressed
(click on the pics to see them large)

Last week I went to the Garden and recorded all the displayed maples to share with the world,   and here they are:

SJG • 10/19/11 Koto-no-ito
1.) Acer palmatum 'Koto-no-ito'.  There is one before the entrance to the Garden and a few more inside; depending on amount of light they receive and probably something (scientifically) else, they are getting into their autumnal dresses at different speed.

The one in the pic on the left, as well as the one on the East path  of the Garden are still rather completely green.  The one on the West path, close to the moon-viewing platform is quite orange and red.  Koto-no-itos reside in areas A, F and V.

And here is the colorful one and its leaves:
SJG • 10/19/11 - Koto-no-ito

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum Koto-no-ito leaves

2.) Acer palmatum 'Inazuma' - Keiko informed me that Inazuma means 'lightning' in Japanese  (soon  Keiko and I will write a communal post about certain maples and their names):

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer Palmatum 'Inazuma' near the entrance gate.
It's the biggest brown mass, right  above  a small something in the foreground
(I should have asked Tony to take the pics:( )

SJG • 11/1/11 - The same Acer Palmatum 'Inazuma' 2 weeks later; the small
'something'  in the foreground turned out acer palmatum dissectum,
here already in nearly bye-bye stage.

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer Palmatum 'Inazuma'  leaves

3.)  Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku', Japanese coral bark maple:

It also lives near the Garden entrance, a few steps north  of Inazuma.  You may not notice it immediately, because it sits closer to the fence than the path.
SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku', Japanese coral bark maple;
it the one non-green color in the pic, towards the fence, Area C
SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku', Japanese coral bark maple;
bark and leaves

4.) Acer palmatum dissectum, Japanese lace leaf maple:

There is one in areas B, C and Y.  I never noticed the one in Y, but the ones in B and C usually are mentioned right at the beginning of the tours, because they are both close to the entrance and both about 100 years old - these specimens grow very slow, so they were already quite mature when set in the Garden 50 years ago - now one of the crown  jewels.

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum dissectum, Japanese lace leaf maple:
Yes, I can see why labels are un-Japanese - while they help us identify the tree, they
ARE quite unsightly - that ugly white strip just offends  the eye...  

SJG • 11/1/11 - The same Acer palmatum dissectum, Japanese lace leaf maple.
2 weeks later, now in true fall color
When recently looking for haiku about autumn leaves I learned that the phrase  'red leaves' usually denote the summer, not autumn; I think it's because many maples native to Japan start with red leaves in summer, later greening, yellowing or doing something totally unexpectedly spectacular.  Such is the case with lace leaf maple, which starts with new red leaves and ends with orange through green periods.

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum dissectum, Japanese lace leaf maple

5.) Acer japonicum vitifolium, Japanese full-moon maple:
There are two of them, kind of kiddy corner from each other, not far from the entrance, in the areas C and Z, facing the path from opposite sides.  Actually, only one of maples was marked, so when Keiko asked if the other is a 'full moon' I answered 'no', because at the first glance they didn't even look similar to me: one bright red into almost black on the  edges, the other a variety of vibrant hues of orange, red, yellow and even some green still.  Fortunately Keiko didn't believe me and checked the plant book; surely enough they were both full moon maples, again each doing their own (scientifically =  yeah, you guessed it: I don't know what I'm talking about ) different stuff.

SJG • 10/19/11 - 5.) Acer japonicum vitifolium, Japanese full moon maple.  The one in area Z (on the left) is still changing colors and wears green, orange yellow and red leaves. The one in area C (on the right) is all in red, with leaves already falling to the ground.
SJG • 10/19/11 - 5.) Acer japonicum vitifolium, Japanese full moon maple, leaves. 

6.) Acer capillipes, stripped-bark maple:

When Forest and I went to look for it in area M we couldn't find it, fortunately Marilyn knew where the one in area Z is (several of us, guides, were waiting for a school bus that got stuck on 520-bridge and we were passing the time re-uniting the labels with the maples).  Now it became apparent why we couldn't locate the first one: they look nothing like a typical maple,  and both specimens are quite large trees, with much bigger than many dainty Japanese maples trunks (YES, green stripped)  and leaves you'd probably not guess being maples.

SJG 10/19/11 - Acer capillipes, stripped-bark maple
SJG 10/19/11 - Acer capillipes, stripped-bark maple leaves.  You can see
that the leaves higher up, above the other tree level turned already,
while the leaves on the lower branches are still green.

7.) Acer palmatum "Burgundy Lace', Japanese maple:

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum "Burgundy Lace',
Japanese maple
There are two of them, spreading next to each other in area B, along the path connecting the service road and the main entrance path - they are pretty big, therefore hard to photograph without getting much of other stuff in the pic.  Their crowns form a shady canopy above the path, and you likely only notice them either approaching from the service road or knowing what you are looking for.  In spring their deeply divided leaves are burgundy, becoming bronze in summer and fall.

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum "Burgundy Lace', Japanese maple leaves
SJG • 11/1/11 - the same Acer palmatum "Burgundy Lace' 2 weeks later,
now getting redder again

Part 2 of this Maple Fest post coming tomorrow...  Now I'll finish with gratuitous pic of the burning bush, just because it looks stunning:

SJG • 10/19/11 - The burning bush is trained like a tree
above what I think is some sort of azalea


  1. You're getting pretty schmaat on your plant names you young whippersnapper:)

  2. i photographed THE LABELS as well, duh! who do you think i am?! some marine biologist? :)

  3. Look at the leaves on the striped bark maple, #6 in the blog (acer capillipes). Some people call this maple a goose foot maple due to the shape of the leaves, reminiscent of a goose's foot. Thanks for the great pictures, Aleks!