Acer palmatum ‘Red Dragon’ Dissectum Group

red laceleaf Japanese maple

  • © Iseli Nursery - Randall C. Smith

  • © Iseli Nursery - Randall C. Smith

Outstanding Qualities

This dwarf Japanese maple is one of the finest for retaining deep purple-red foliage in both sunny and shady situations, although full sun ensures the darkest hues. When the leaves first emerge in spring they are a bright scarlet, darkening to an intense burgundy as they mature. They hold this color steadfastly until autumn when the leaves turn a blazing crimson. The gracefully twisted branching of older plants are beautiful in the winter.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: mounding tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 meters)

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

Plant Width-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

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

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: spring, summer, and autumn foliage color

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’, Actaea simplex ‘Brunette’, Molinia caerulea ssp. caerulea ‘Variegata’, Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Amethyst’, Arisaema sikokianum, Asplenium scolopendrium

Great Color Contrasts: gold, white, yellow, green

Great Color Partners: burgundy, bronze

Culture Notes
This lovely shrubby tree develops the best foliage color in full sun to open shade. Japanese maples are surprisingly flexible in their soil requirements. Although they will grow best in a rich well-drained soil, they will also do well in sandy soils and clay. To prevent the fine leaves from burning at the tips, water the tree regularly during dry weather. Well pruned Japanese maples are an art form in the garden and require an expert touch, so consult an experienced pruner or take local classes before attempting to prune. To reduce the need for pruning, place these wide spreading plants in areas will ample room.
Geek Notes
A New Zealand introduction in 1990.