Acer palmatum

Bicolor Japanese Maple                        

 

139 Monroe Street, Denver PA

 

Len Eiserer

 

This striking specimen has both green and maroon leaves.   The most likely way this came about (see also the entry for Bicolor Dogwood) is as follows:  Horticulturalists often grow red or purple Japanese Maple cultivars by grafting the cultivar branch onto the original species' hardy root-stock, the original species of course having green leaves.  Occasionally new branches might sprout or sucker up from the root-stock (i.e., below the graft) and produce green rather than red leaves.  Meanwhile the grafted cultivar branches produce the expected red leaves. The result, as seen here, is a spectacular bicolor tree.

 

The leaves of this amazing species have been popular snacks in Osaka, Japan for more than a thousand years.  Typically the leaves are dipped and fried in tempura butter after being stored in barrels of salt for one year (see last photo).