Acer palmatum

Japanese Maple, smooth Japanese maple

Description: perennial deciduous shrub or tree

Place of origin: temperate Asia

Urban habitat: cultivated as an ornamental tree.

Ecological function: habitat for wildlife.

History: Widely cultivated, Acer palmatum includes thousands of cultivars with different forms, leaf types, sizes and preferred growing conditions. A. palmatum is a popular species for Japanese bonsai pruning. Decoctions from its branches and leaves have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and its sap can be boiled into a syrup or used as a drink.