Appreciation: Japanese maples with the darkest foliage

Discussion in 'Maples' started by maf, Apr 11, 2022.

  1. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I was admiring a maple today which I found as a seedling some years ago growing in the gravel near some of my container trees. This "possible child of Trompenburg" has the darkest spring foliage by far of any of my Japanese maples and I can't recall ever seeing anything as dark at arboretums and the like. I used to have 'O kagami' many years ago but as I remember it the volunteer is darker. It is really a very striking dark colour when viewed "in the flesh" and I will put pictures below that hopefully capture that effect.

    This got me thinking which are the Japanese maples with the darkest foliage? I have seen 'Black Lace' in photo's (and maybe in a nursery) and that must be a contender... but does it live up to it in real life? Any other candidates?

    IMG_20220411_173832.jpg IMG_20220411_173807.jpg
     
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  2. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Rising Contributor

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    Tsukushigata is chocolaty-brown, but I've no way to judge if it is darker.
    On the other hand, it has the most interesting (erotic?) green veins, too!

    IMG_20210428_102516154.jpg
     
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  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I'll add a couple of photos when they leaf out M. But just to say that my Musashino and Nigrum are contenders in my garden.
     
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  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    First time I've ever heard a maple leaf referred to as erotic M... Lol
     
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  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I loved the adjectival use, also!

    Still trying to figure out my issues getting pictures off the camera, but I did take some pics yesterday. I noticed 'O kagami' (as always) and also 'Koko' as really dark.

    'Black Lace' isn't out yet, but I think it's not as dark as the two others.

    I bought a tiny diseected Elderflower also called 'Black Lace' this spring, it is _really_ black. Looks like it will be a great plant, which in my garden I expect everyone will mistake for a maple, heh.

    -E
     
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  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I have this one in my garden E. And yes it is almost black. Beautifil pink flowers in a couple of months to go with it.
     
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  7. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I can't wait to see it! Doubt mine will flower this year of course, I got it from a place that sells very young plants, for about 5€ as I recall.

    How big/old is yours Derek? I'm hoping to use mine as a planting between upright maples, and so that it won't get over 1.5m or so. Elderflower is extremely weedy and fast growing here though.
     
  8. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Mines around 12 years old. Its about 10 feet tall atm, I do prune it down each year to keep it under control. It can get out of control very quickly btw.
    You are right, yours may not flower this year, but 2023 should see plenty. I will post a photo later when the rain has stopped. It is just starting to leaf out today.
     
  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Just took these for you to see Emery. Sorry to M @maf for being off topic.
    Black lace April 12th 2022.JPG Black Lace 12th April 2022.JPG
     
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  10. D97x7

    D97x7 Contributor 10 Years

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    Well Black Lace is certainly the darkest of my little collection.
    Here it is this morning, still a bit red at the moment but it will go darker.
    DSC_006102.JPG
     
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  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I just took this a few minutes ago of my Musashino. A definite contender in my garden for darkest maple.
    Musashino April 12th 2022.JPG
     
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  12. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    My Black Lace is well on its way but not looking very black at the moment.. last year was super dark.

    sambucas nigra - now that’s dark! I have a few different ones of these - I have another type that is super dark but has more of a cut leaf - that’s not out yet!

    P. Yasmin is also another very dark contender but not out properly as you can see
     

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  13. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    Black lace July last year
     

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  14. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Now, that is really dark, what is the sun exposure?

    My dark plant behaves much like 'O kagami' and some of the other dark ones in the later season that go to mottled and veiny green/brown.

    Edit: in a couple of weeks when all the JM's are in leaf I will snip a leaf from all the atropurpureum types available and line them up for a mugshot including 'Trompenburg' and the "possible child of Trompenburg".
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
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  15. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    The black lace was in a heavily shaded spot last year, only morning sun till midday but filtered by several larger trees. I’m surprised it was called black lace..I always think of dissected leaves when I think of lace

    A friend of mine has a very very dark mature Palmatum, with a typical blood good leaf but super dark..I’ll take a photo of that on the coming months. It was acquired through a house purchase so no idea what it at cultivar it is.
     
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  16. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I thought I would add my Nigrum to this thread this morning. It is very dark and with a morning dew, it is a shinny dark.
    Nigrum Mid April 2022.JPG
     
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  17. Del

    Del Active Member Maple Society

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    upload_2022-4-21_15-54-52.jpeg
    This is A.P. Nigrum, photos were taken June last year, and is the blackest leaf maple in my collection. At the moment it is more purple colour but that’s probably due to being more shaded upload_2022-4-21_15-54-52.jpeg
     
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  18. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    That is sooo dark Del. Mine gets darker as the season progresses, here it is a few minutes ago.
    IMG_20220421_165512556.jpg
     
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  19. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Right now, in the garden here, Yasmin is looking like the darkest. Don't have Nigrum, that looks really dark though.
     
  20. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

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    I have Tsukushigata and Trompenburg near each other in the garden and the colors are similar. Different but similar in "darkness"
     
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