High Desert Plant Finder & Guide

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Lions Head Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira'

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Lions Head Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira') at Moana Nursery

Lions Head Japanese Maple foliage

Lions Head Japanese Maple foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Lions Head Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira') at Moana Nursery

Lions Head Japanese Maple

Lions Head Japanese Maple

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Lions Head Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira') at Moana Nursery

Lions Head Japanese Maple in fall

Lions Head Japanese Maple in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5

Description:

An unusual, bold addition to the garden; deeply curled and crinkled bright green leaves are held in close knit bunches, adding interest; develops its fall color much later in the season than most other varieties, prefers a sheltered location

Ornamental Features

Lions Head Japanese Maple has attractive green foliage which emerges red in spring. The crinkled palmate leaves are highly ornamental and turn outstanding shades of gold and crimson in the fall. It features subtle corymbs of burgundy flowers rising above the foliage in mid spring before the leaves. It produces red samaras from early to mid fall. The rough gray bark and red branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Lions Head Japanese Maple is an open deciduous tree with an upright spreading habit of growth. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may 'bleed' sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Lions Head Japanese Maple is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade
  • Mass Planting

Planting & Growing

Lions Head Japanese Maple will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Shade  Massing 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form  Bark 
Ornamental Features

Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.