Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' in red autumn colour
Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki'

Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' is one of the most commonly grown of all the Japanese Maples. It is a member of the 'Elegans Group', home to a selection of cultivars notable for their larger and usually seven-lobed leaves. The lobes are finely double serrate and broadest around the middle.

Native to Japan, Central China and Korea, the type species Acer palmatum was discovered and described for western science in 1820 by Swedish naturalist Carl Peter Thunberg (1743–1828).

It is a large deciduous shrub of rounded habit, which under favourable conditions will grow to a height and spread of approximately 2.5-4 metres. The leaves are green, turning in autumn to an intense fiery scarlet, and is arguably the most brilliant of all Japanese maples at this time of year. Both the flowers and subsequent winged fruits are small and red.

Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' will perform best in a neutral to slightly acidic, well-drained yet moist soil. It will require a sheltered position to reduce wind-scorch, in either full-sun or dappled shade. To help improve the intensity of the autumn colour applying an annual dressing of sulphur granules.

Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden merit in 1984.

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