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Woody > Acer > Acer palmatum > Acer palmatum 'Dissectum Rubrum'

Acer palmatum

'Dissectum Rubrum'

Red Cutleaf Japanese Maple

Origin:  Introduced in Great Britain in 1875.
            Mike's Opinion

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Acer palmatum var.dissectum 'Rubrum's' compact, mounding shape make it an ideal tree for a small garden. It is great as an accent tree planted in a sheltered area. It is quite hardy and not as fragile as it may seem based on its delicate foliage. I find this cultivar to be quite interesting and artistic with its delicate foliage, contorted branching habit and its alluring year round coloured foliage, a reddish green foliage, transforming into a vibrant orange in the autumn.

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


Sapindaceae (Aceraceae)
'Dissectum Rubrum'
Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
4 - 6a
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
-29 - (-23)
Temperature (°F)
-20 - (-10)
3 m
3 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A specimen that is small, yet hardy slow growing tree. It forms a mushroom to dome-like shape with finely cut foliage.
Often used in small gardens as a focal point. They can also can be grown in a large container, and are great for bonsai. Ideal for patio, low maintenance and woodland gardens. They are also a choice specimen to plant near a pool, so that the artistic form of the branches may reflect in the water. It is best planted in a sheltered location.
It can tolerate full sun or partial shade, although it seems to thrive in dappled shade. Well drained, fertile soil that has a neutral to acidic level is recommended for this cultivar. It requires some shelter from strong winds, as this can scorch the leaves.
This cultivar has a neat and compact mounding form with ascending branches.
ID Characteristic
Filigree like foliage, vibrant autumn colour and attractive contorted and twisted branches, are the main defining characteristics of this cultivar. They also have lovely tiny reddish-purple flowers when in bloom.
Aphids and horse chestnut scale are the main pests that can affect this cultivar. It is also susceptible to verticillium wilt. Their delicate leaves may also be damaged by a late frost in the early spring or wind and sunburn if planted in exposed locations.
Horticultural origin.
Bark/Stem Description
Smooth grey bark. It has a very attractive branching form that creates winter interest.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
The opposite buds are cone-like shaped and chestnut in colour.
Leaf Description
Palmate leaf, delicate, lace-like, deeply cut, 5 - 9 lobes.
Flower Description
Small, yet attractive red-purple coloured flowers.
Fruit Description
A feathered, vigorously veined, two winged smara develops after the plant flowers in June.
Colour Description
Beautiful colour in spring, summer and autumn. Transforming from a reddish-green in the spring and summer to a vibrant orange in the autumn.
Texture Description
Fine textured.
Notable Specimens
The A. M. Cuddy Gardens, Strathroy, Ontario, Canada.
This tree should be propagated by grafting. Since their delicate twigs grow down rather than upward, they are grafted onto a standard. The height of the standard understock it is grafted to determines the ultimate height of the tree.
Toomer, S. (2005). Trees for the small garden: How to choose, plant, and care for the tree that makes the garden special (pp. 28-30). Portland, Or.: Timber Press. Dirr, M. (1997). Dirr's hardy trees an illustrated encyclopedia (p. 21, 450). Portland, OR: Timber Press.