Acer palmatum 'Akaji nishiki'

Discussion in 'Acer palmatum cultivars (photos)' started by Kaitain4, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Recieved a 2 year old plant 7/11/08. Described as:

    "A small tree with rust color leaves in spring turning green in summer with rust and crimson in the fall. Ocassionally will throw off cream variegation in the leaves. Slow growing. Upright, vase shape."

    Have not had it long enough to tell much of anything. There is some cream variegatoin on some of the leaves, not particularly heavy, however. The red stems and petioles are nice.
     

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  2. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    I still am not sure what color an akaji nishiki is. I have seen them label differently and sometimes they are also called Bonfire. I have a very old Bonfire and it does not look the same.
     

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  3. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    It is filling out a little more. Sounds like this one wll be hard to find since it is too much like other trees.
     

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  4. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Here's a close up of the variegation during the transition from bright red to green. The variegated sections fade to cream within a couple of weeks after the rest of the foliage turns green. This makes it a worthwhile addition to the chishio/deshojo group IMO.
     

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  5. blake

    blake Active Member

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    Is this variegation a feature that can be used to identify 'Akaji nishiki' versus 'Bonfire' and/or 'Seigai'? I haven't seen this characteristic mentioned in any other discussions and it would seem to be an important one.
     
  6. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    That is very good question; one I have pondered over myself.

    My initial reaction is yes, but due to the irregularity of variegation it certainly could not be the only determining factor in identifying the tree.

    TBH, I haven't had enough time with all of these varieties to get a good feel for them. Also, I always have doubts about the validity of any tree that comes to me, especially when there are several similar varieties in a group.

    A good example is Osakazuki. I currently have 4 (I think) forms of this tree that were all labeled Osakazuki. Three of them came from the same source at the same time from the same field...and this is from an old reputable nursery that has been in the business for decades. At some point they were all lumped together and assumed to be the same, but careful observation shows that they are not.

    I have a great appreciation for the work that has been done in the literature to help us with these trees. However, the authors may have caused some of us some headaches by simplifying the list by lumping together and/or ignoring alternate forms.

    Far too often we jump to conclusions when dealing with similar varieties. The result is probably the main cause for so much confusion with these trees in the first place. I think Jim has said something like this before and I'll echo it...sometimes we need to focus more on the tree than the name.
     
  7. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    I bought a scion wood tree from a old nursery in Oregon. The tree had both names bonfire and Akaji nishiki. It was by far different than the Akaji nishiki I posted photo of. The tree did have a little red color in spring but it became more of an orangish red similar to the color one sees in a fire. The tree also was a match to the colors of the Bonfire I had purchases from Buchholz.
    Add to this years ago I bought a Bonfire from a expert and it was pink red. My guess from this is that graftings from the original tree could produce different trees and it takes a knowledge grower to weed out the non true duplication of the mother tree. My thought comes from Hana matoi which has different colored branches on the tree.
    The list of trees with one name but multiply different looking leaves is not small. I know with Osakazuki some growers have added more names to the tree to show a difference.
    In the case of Bonfire/ Akaji nishiki and others it seems hard to really determine what is true to it's mother tree.
     
  8. blake

    blake Active Member

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    Thanks, both of you, for sharing your thoughts.

    I too am handicapped by the fact I have not had the opportunity to spend enough time with these trees to get to know them.

    Amazing, you mention leaf color variances in the trees you have (or have had) was the variegation present on any of them? I assume the “scion wood tree” you mention is the one you’ve included an image of in the ‘Bonfire’ thread. That tree reminds me (and I’m going from memory here) of the image in Maples for Gardens associated with ‘Bonfire’. I believe van Gelderen states in the description that maple is variegated but my memory could be wrong. I’ll have to check when I get home.
     

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