There are hundreds of varieties of Japanese maples. They tend to be divided into dwarf, green leaf, red leaf, and large tree varieties. The Japanese maple tree often refers to maple tree cultivars from Acer palmatum, Acer japonicum, and Acer shirasawanum. Japanese maple varieties feature feathery and weeping brightly colorful leaves that turn to even more resplendent colors in the fall.
Acer Palmatum, Higasayama Japanese Maple
The dwarf Japanese maple has predominantly yellow leaves with occasional pink pointed ends. In the fall, the Japanese maple leaves turns brilliant orange-red colors. The Higasayama dwarf maple has pink buds in the spring that spread into shades of cream, pinkish, and/or green.
Dwarf Japanese Maple
The Green Cascade Japanese maple is a mid-sized maple tree with drooping green leaves that turn to deep orange- red in the fall.
The Autumn Moon Maple and Moonlight Maple varieties show a brilliant golden color, which can turn into bright orange, pink and red in the fall.
Hogyoku is a sturdy green leaf variety. It is also a mid-sized maple that grow to 15-feet. From a fairly pedestrian green, it can turn to glorious yellow, orange and red colors in the fall. It handles the heat better than most Japanese maples.
Beni Kawa is another Japanese green leaf maple variety, although these smaller, lighter leaves bring out a delicate, lighter green color as well. It thrives in colder weather than the Hyogoku, which is one of the few Japanese maples that withstands a hot climate.
Beni Kawa Japanese Maple
The Katsura maple is likewise a small leaved, light, pale yellow-orange when emerging. Toward the summer, leaves turn light yellow green, then yellow into orange in the fall.
The Emperor Japanese maple varieties are also mid-sized trees that are named for their deep red or purple colors.
Emperor Japanese Maple
Another popular reddish- purple variety is the lace maple, such as the Bloodgood and Burgundy lace, which feature the reddish weeping feathery leaves.
Bloodgood Japanese Maple
The tall Red Filigree lace maple retains its reddish purple color throughout the summer and turns a bright crimson in fall. Overall look is of the weeping effect of the dissectum along with fine twigs.
The Sango-kaku or Coral Bark maple has a light green throughout the spring into summer seasons, and then a bright yellow glow, even pinkish in the fall. After the leaves fall off the tree, the unique bright red coral bark is highlighted.
Sango-kaku, Coral Bark Maple