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The flowers appear in the upper leaf axils and stem ends, 1-8 together in a short cyme; they are pendulous, white to pink, bell-shaped with a five-lobed corolla.
The species from warm climates are evergreen, and colder climate species deciduous.
Species and varieties:
Acer japonicum is a small deciduous tree growing to 5-10 m (rarely 15 m) tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm in diameter. In cultivation, it is often only a shrubby tree with multiple trunks joining at ground-level. In autumn, the leaves turn bright orange to dark red.
Acer palmatum includes thousands of named cultivars with a variety of forms, colors, leaf types, sizes, and preferred growing conditions. Heights of mature specimens range from 0.5 to 25 m (1.5 to 82 ft), depending on type.
Maple is a widespread deciduous tree popular in eastern North America.
Many of its features, especially its leaves, are quite variable in form. Among these features it is best known for its brilliant deep scarlet foliage in autumn. Red Maple is adaptable to a very wide range of site conditions. It can be found growing in swamps, on poor dry soils, and most anywhere in between. Elevation is also not a limiting factor in its range. Due to its attractive fall foliage and pleasing form, it is often used as a shade tree for landscapes. It is used commercially on a small scale for maple syrup production as well as for its medium to high quality lumber. It is the State Tree of Rhode Island. It is very cold hardy.
Maple is a very popular plant in Japan and a subject for bonsai. Autumn in Japan is celebrated with colorful autumn leaves known as momijigari. The foliage of trees light up the Japanese landscape. Scarlet Japanese maples flash against emerald conifers, this is the beauty of momijigari as you view the spectacular colors of changing leaves.
The maples have long been known to be closely related to the family Sapindaceae.