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Acer palmatum (Amoenum Group) 'Nigrum'

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Tree

Habit

Bushy

Resilience

Hardiness

old H4 (hardy)

Colour

Flower

Purple in Spring

Foliage

Dark Purple in Spring and Summer
Dark Red in Autumn

Fruit

Purple in Autumn

Stem

Dark Purple in

Size

Ultimate height

2.5-4 metres

Ultimate spread

1.5-2.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

black Japanese maple

Family

Sapindaceae


Acer can be deciduous trees or large shrubs with paired, often palmately-lobed leaves and small flowers followed by characteristic winged fruits. Many have fine autumn colour, and some have ornamental stems

'Nigrum' is a deciduous shrub or small tree with 5- to 7-lobed leaves, deep purple in spring and summer, becoming crimson in autumn

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in a moist but well-drained soil. Water in summer if necessary. Leaf colour is best in partial shade, although full sun can be tolerated. Leaf scorch can be caused by lack of soil moisture or excessive exposure

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Acid or Neutral
  • Sand, Clay, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by grafting or softwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Cottage/Informal Garden or Low Maintenance


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Aphids and horse chestnut scale may be a problem

Diseases

Verticillium wilt sometimes a problem