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Woody > Acer > Acer nipponicum > Acer nipponicum

Acer nipponicum

Nippon Maple

Origin:  Native to Japan, the species was first described by Adrien Rene Franchet and Paul Amedee Ludovic Savatier as Acer parviflorum in 1877.
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Acer nipponicum, a maple species, found in Japan and is called the Nippon Maple. It is affiliated with the Acer section Parviflora. Acer nipponicum is a medium-sized, upright, and deciduous tree with a wide canopy of large green coarse-textured leaves. Nippon Maple prefers sun/partial shade and well-drained soil. The tree is usually used in landscapes, such as parks and street plantings. In Autumn, the leaves change from green to golden-yellow to brown.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Sapindaceae (Aceraceae)
Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
6 - 8
Canadian Hardiness Zone
5a - 7a
RHS Hardiness Zone
H5 - H7
Temperature (°C)
(-23) - (-9)
Temperature (°F)
(-10) - 15
15 - 20 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Acer nipponicum, is a fast-growing deciduous tree that has attractive flowers. This tree is known to have one of the largest leaves in the Acer family. The deep-green leaves turn a golden-yellow colour in autumn.
Naturalization is recommended, due to its beautiful golden-yellow leaves in autumn. It is also used in landscapes as borders, hedges, windbreaks, screens, street trees and mass plantings.
Best grown in sandy-loam that is well-drained.
Upright with a densely-branching crown.
Leaf scorch can be a problem. Light brown or dead spots between leaf veins or around the leaf margins can be found as symptoms.
It is native to the mountain regions of Japan.
Bark/Stem Description
Green when immature evolving into smooth a reddish-brown colour with distinctive lenticels as it matures.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
It has 2-paired green and brown bud scales.
Leaf Description
Leaves are broad-ovate, lobed, light green colour, turning into a beautiful golden yellow colour in autumn. Leaves are up to 10 - 20 cm in length, and 15 cm in width with rusty-brown pubescence on the underside.
Flower Description
A densely packed cluster of green flowers are hanging down loosely on the tree. It is generally andromonoecious, but some trees have androecious flowers.
Fruit Description
Nutlets are globe-shaped, and fruit wings are 3 - 5 cm in length.
Colour Description
Its foliage changes colour from deep-green to golden-yellow in autumn. Leaves will wilt and drop in winter.
Texture Description
Rough texture.
Notable Specimens
Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire and England.
Ogata, K. (1965). "A dendrological study of the Japanese Aceraceae, with special reference to the geographical distribution"(PDF). Bulletin of the Tokyo University Forests 60: 30–31, 87. Walter Erhardt, Erich Gotz Bodeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der grobe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008.