Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’

fernleaf full moon maple

  • © Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Fernleaf full moon maple is a bold and beautiful tree. Its most outstanding quality is undoubtedly its foliage; its deeply dissected leaves create a rich texture in the landscape. In early spring the bright green new leaves and small red flowers are subtle yet lovely. In autumn, the bright green leaves of this handsome tree explode into color -- showing off shades of red and orange tinged with purple and yellow. One of the best small trees you can grow.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: round tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 8

Flower Color: red

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to dappled shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: autumn foliage color

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Cryptomeria japonica Elegans Group, Acer tegmentosum, Magnolia sieboldii, Pieris japonica ‘Valley Fire’, Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’ BLACK LACE™, Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’

Great Color Contrasts: red, yellow, orange

Great Color Partners: blue, chartreuse, dark green

Culture Notes
Fernleaf full moon maple will develop fantastic and brilliant fall color in full sun as well as in light, open, or dappled shade. In shade the primary colors will be orange and yellow with a blush of red. It will grow best in rich well drained soil, but will tolerate sand and clay with regular summer watering. Very little pruning is needed to maintain a beautiful specimen; only remove poorly developed branches, dead wood or broken limbs.
Geek Notes
The cultivar name, 'Aconitifolium', refers to the similarity of this maple's foliage to the leaves of monkshood or, botanically, Aconitum.