Acer palmatum Shigitatsu sawa is a very old Japanese cultivar dating back to the 1600’s. In J.D. Vertrees book Japanese Maples, he describes this small tree as a variegated cultivar. As described in his book variegation is found in the new growth with inter spaces of yellow on the whitish green leaves. I believe it is best grown in a location with early morning sun and shade or indirect sunlight the rest of the day. If grown in full shade the dark veins are not visible.  In the right growing conditions the new leaves seem almost opaque and more white than green. The reticulated leaves are quite prominent with dark green veins visible through both in spring and throughout the summer.

Shigitatsu sawa is a slow grower and forms a small tree with a height of 5-6′ in 10 years. The branching structure grows in the classic “V” shape. The primary color in the fall is yellow. This maple makes a wonderful specimen for a small garden with its changing seasonal interest. Once established this cultivar is hardy to USDA zone 5.

Limited availability. I have only a few 3 gallon size left – each is more than 6 years old. The 1 gallons will be available April/May 2019.

The first photo of Shigitatsu sawa is a close up of the whitish green reticulated leaves. The second photo shows a 2 gallon in our inventory and the last two photos show the Shigitatsu sawa in my display garden – first during spring and then the beginning of fall color – yellow.