Most named varieties of japanese maple are grafted to get a plant identical to all others of that name. Acer palmatum 'Atropurpureum' is an exception which comes relatively true from seed. Its leaves start out red in spring and then turn varying shades of dark purplish-green during the summer. Red colors are held best in full sun. Fall brings on usually vibrant colors of a variety of hues from yellow to blackish purple as shown in this photo of several seed-grown plants. Fairly fast growing to 20-30'. Full sun will bring out the fullest colors, but the plants shown here only get about 4 hours of miday sun. This maple is more economical and faster growing than a grafted plant, and would be a good choice for planting a grove. You could plant quite a group and then thin to preserve your favorites as the plants begin to fill in the desired area. Zones: USDA 6; Sunset 2-10, 12, 14-24, Alaska-3.
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