Acer shirasawanum Mikado is an upright maple, likely a hybrid with Acer palmatum. Spring leaves are a color that can be described as red-plum. The color remains the same in the summer though it is a little darker changing to orange-red in fall. Mikado can handle full sun and needs at least 5 hours of sun each day to hold its red-plum leaf color.¬† Too little¬† sun and the leaves change to green tones, known as greening out. Estimated to grow to 10′ tall by 5′ wide in 10 years. Once established hardy to -20 degrees. USDA zone 5.

Additionally, shirasawanum maples known as ‘full moon maples’ can be identified by looking at the flowers and subsequent seed pods [samaras]. If they point up rather than hang down it is a shirasawanum – palmatum species hang down. Other ‘full moon maples’ I have at the nursery include Autumn Moon, Johin, Jordan, Kawaii, Moonrise, Red Dawn, Sensu and Shira Red. Of course the most famous is the ‘Golden Full Moon Maple – Aureum.

Limited Availability.

Acer palmatum Mikado – the first and second photos are courtesy of Buchholz and Buchholz Nursery. The last photo shows two leaves I saved – fall 2017.