Ryu sei’ has a green palmatum type leaf  shaped like a star. The maple grows with a pendulous or weeping habit. The name in Japanese means falling star which seems like the perfect name because of the shape of the leaves. And when the lead or terminal branch is staked for height allowing the lower branches to fall softly along-side the stars do seem to fall. Spring growth is lemon green turning to a true green in the summer. Fall color is orange to scarlet-red. The pruning and staking of this maple is very important. For more information check out Care of Japanese Maples and Pruning Japanese Maples.

Ryu sei is an awesome looking maple when properly planted and staked. It is really spectacular when planted on a mound, cliff or along a wall allowing the branches to cascade down lower then the base. For Ryu sei height is really determined by staking. Without staking this cultivar will be more prostrate than high. But when staked to 6 or 7 feet or even taller the name falling star is realized.  I think planting a Ryu sei in a large ornamental container and placing it in a sunny location near a water feature would be ideal. This would allow the branches to cascade below the lip of the container and shade the container and the root ball to keep it from drying out quickly. This maple can handle the full hot sun or partial shade. I purposely keep my container grown Ryu sei maples sparse with less pruning to make it easier to pack and ship. This is not an easy maple to wrap as the branches cannot be wrapped up like I do with all other JMs. I have to take the rigid lower branches and tie them down and wrap which can be a challenge. Once established this cultivar is hardy to USDA zone 5. Also known as Acer palmatum Ryusen.

Limited availability – less than 10 of the 3 gallon  falling stars are left. When the height of the maple is over 5′ and the terminal limb is rigid it is too large for me to ship. Don’t delay – order now.

The first photo shows one of my 3 gallon Ryu sei – green leaves on cascading branches. The next photo shows the green leaves of spring and summer. The last photo shows the beginning of fall color courtesy of Buchholz Nursery.