Acer palmatum 'Koto ito komachi'

Discussion in 'Acer palmatum cultivars (photos)' started by hayrideman, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. hayrideman

    hayrideman Member

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    These trees range from 5 years to 9 years old.
    First photo is summer in full sun.
    Second is taken in the late fall.
     

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  2. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Perry,

    They look great. Is there some trick to growing them in full sun and not scorching the leaves? Has the Fall color always been that uniform coral-ish color?

    Gil
     
  3. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Hayrideman, those are really pretty! Are you sure you have the "real" form? There's been lots of conversation deciding if this variety actually exists. David
     
  4. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Looks like a pretty pure form to me...I can't help noticing the slight twist to the lobes.
     
  5. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Yeah, worldplants.com says that their form has twisted lobes too, and those lobes in the picture look exceedingly thin...which makes me think that there actually is a separate cultivar from Koto No Ito. David
     
  6. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Yes there is definately a difference between the two...and from what I understand alot more to it than that. I think many koto no ito specimens are mislabeled koto ito komachi, in fact I know of one in my area. There are most likely two forms of koto ito komachi...vertrees' form and the form brought in from japan before he knew it existed. Vertrees' form is actually quite rare I believe.

    There are also variations of koto no ito, but the original form looks more like this:

    http://ganshuku.cool.ne.jp/23_2kotonoito.html

    I'm not sure if this old form ever made it into the US. It is confusing but from what I understand repeated grafting made it change a bit (or perhaps it mutated and the grafters didn't notice), and now there are a couple of similar forms but the lobes generally don't have the twist that koto ito komachi has. I can't be certain about all of this but that is the way I have been taught it, and research tends to agree when you look at multiple sources of literature. Vertrees' book actually confused this issue because he released his form before he was shown the other form, and by this time the two were being mixed up in the trade.

    I haven't seen Vertrees' form before so I wouldn't know, but if those ages are true that would make me think it is his form. The form that I have seen which is likely the other form gets about 4 to 5 ft tall in about 6 or 8 years time. But who knows I maybe one day I'll have both forms in my collection to study.

    We can see koto no ito in the following form in the US occasionally, but there are a couple of other variations as well.

    http://www.worldplants.com/koto.htm

    The trouble is many people have read Vertrees' description of Koto ito komachi and found that there form grew too fast to be his, so they have sold it as koto no ito instead. When in fact they had the original form of koto ito komachi all along.
     
  7. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Welll, worldplants.com sells a Koto ito Komachi and they have the twisted-lobed form; do you think that this form is the original Vertrees form? I don't really know; all I know is that I want a threadleaf that goes by the name Koto Ito Komachi, and has those "exceedingly hair-like lobes" that are celebrated all around the maple world.

    As for the Koto no Ito and Koto Ito Komachi being mixed up, I would say that's natural, since they are qiute similar in terms of the size that new grafts would be; who knows, maybe a simple mislabeling snowballed into a more-or-less "mass" distribution of the wrong cultivar.

    Whatever tbe case, I would like to find the Vertrees form of Koto Ito Komachi. David
     
  8. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    I'm pretty sure the plants Hayride pictured can be traced to Vertrees. Hope he returns to explain how he came to grow these beauties.
     
  9. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Yeah, so do I. Wonder if he owns a nursery of just has them for his own pleasure. David
     
  10. hayrideman

    hayrideman Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    I am a collector at this time, with the hopes of someday having a business. I started collecting and grafting Japanese Maples about 15 years ago after becoming acquainted with F.W. Byles and his operation. His father in law, Howard Hughes of Montesano, WA. had a nursery, and was an enthusiast. I met him before his passing and knew of his contact with J.D. Vertrees over the years. I had the opportunity to visit Maple Wood in Roseburg, OR several times with F.W. Byles and have seen the Koto ito komachi that grew there. The specimen that I acquired was grafted by Howard Hughes, possessed by F.W Byles, and passed on to me to rejuvenate as it was in very poor health. As you can see the tree has survived and been successfully copied and retains the true form as for which it was named.
     
  11. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Thanks Perry,

    Pertinent information, choice provenance.

    Post pics when they leaf out this spring, please.

    Gil
     
  12. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Hayrideman,
    It's nice to know that there are some "true-form" Koto Ito Komachi's still out there and available...if you ever open a nursery, I'll be sure to check it out!

    David
     
  13. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    After reading this thread, and to contribute to it, I went out and took pictures of the two cultivars. The Koto ito komachi (propagated by Choteau in Belgium) does show the twisted nature for the lobes (first pic) while the Koto no ito (propagated by Esveld) does not (second pic). However I see no hint of color, other than green, in the Koto ito komachi leaves.
    In addition, as mattflower pointed out, the overall shape of the plants are quite different: Koto no ito is tall and slender while the Koto ito komachi is short and spreading.

    Gomero
     

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  14. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Gomero,
    Nice pics...there really is a difference when you look closely! Hayrideman said that he had his Koto Ito Komachis in full sun, so that's why he has that "coral-ish" color...what kind of light do you have your Koto Ito Komachi in?

    Also, the red color in the Koto Ito Komachi leaves may develop during the summer; I guess you'll just have to wait! I'm hoping and keeping my fingers crossed; I really want Koto Ito Komachi, and I think that I'm going to get it soon! So hopefully I can post some pictures of it when I get it within the next couple of months.

    David
     
  15. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Well first let me say I was not under the impression that koto ito komachi showed red leaves until fall...and even then it is orangy red. I am aware that we should see the cerise (pinkish red) modified leaves that are shown in gomero's first picture as the tree leafs out, and that is another way we can tell the two forms apart.

    The difference in sizes of the the lobes will show as the leaves come out more...most forms of koto no ito eventually shows wider lobes (and nearly palmate shaped leaves at some time in the season)...but as I said there are multiple forms of it and the newer forms are actually narrower like koto ito komachi. However, the twisting should not be present in any form of koto no ito.

    Nevertheless, all 5 or 6 forms of the two cultivars are fine trees and any of them should make any owner proud. The best way to be sure that you are getting what you want is to see the tree in person...or at least a picture of the tree before purchasing. There are just too many false forms roaming around and it is important to know what you are getting on some of these types of cultivars (and not necessarily of the sellers fault). The dissectums are the same way...they are mixed up like crazy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  16. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Morning sun, afternoon shade.

    One thing I have noticed is that, for my Koto no ito, only the first growth in the spring is hair-thin, any later growth has much wider lobes (but never palmate-like). Therefore a picture of a plant taken later in the season, and if the secondary growth has been vigorous, may display something quite different from a picture taken early spring.

    Gomero
     
  17. Frank Byles

    Frank Byles Member Maple Society

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Koto ito komachi - Originally was a chance seedling from a plant in J.D.Vertrees home Maplewood. To my knowledge it is now in a prominent location in the yard of Dr. and Mrs. Stuart Wilson who purchased the late J.D.Vertrees property. The last time I saw the original it was a beautiful healthy one meter by one meter shrub. The original parent plant of A.p.'koto ito komachi', if still existing, throws very consistant seedlings. Talon Buchholz could tell you if A.p.'Fairyhair' is a sister, which I believe it is. Perry and I both have progeny of J.D.'s original plant as does the late Nancy Fiers of Mountain Maples. I also have found several people selling imposters of 'Koto ito komachi' which were nothing but A.p.'Koto no ito'. Make sure you carefully check out the lineage of your tree before you buy it. I wish Perry the best in starting up his nursery as his collection of Japanese maple cultivars is the same as mine of over 650 different varieties. I'm proud of his accomplishments.

    Frank Byles
     
  18. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Frank

    Thanks for that info. Can we look forward to you posting pics of some of the rarer cultivars?

    Appreciate

    Gil
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
  19. Frank Byles

    Frank Byles Member Maple Society

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Your welcome to visit and take as many pics as you like.

    Frank
     
  20. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Byles,
    Are you a collector or a nursery owner?

    I am planning on ordering a Koto Ito Komachi from a normally reputable dealer in Oregon...do you think that it would be Vertrees's form, since Vertrees lived in Oregon too?

    David
     
  21. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Byles,

    Appreciate your kind offer.
    Might take more than a single visit with 650 cultivars and all.

    Do you still have a wish list Frank?

    Gil
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  22. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Could anybody possibly post a picture of the ORIGINAL Vertrees KIK plant? I just wanted to see what it will look like when it's mature! And, I've wanted to see it (I'm jealous of any of you that have) so then I got the bright idea of asking!

    Regards,
    David
     
  23. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    I'm jealous!! Why you guys, are so far away from here!!! Over 650 different cultivars..., and here I only rougly can find just green Acer palmatums...???
    I need find out the way to make a planned trip to OR and WA... (and jump to NJ to visit Ed's garden too)..... Please, provide some pics!

    Nelson
     
  24. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    I think you need to move north a little nelran :)
     
  25. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    Re: Koto ito komachi

    Mattflower, probably some day, I will do. I have some conflicts with this matter: I grown and live most of my live between the tropic lines, so I got accostumed to deal with heat, sunny days the majority of the year. I like some cold weather/snow also, but not for long times as is in the north; so here is the conflict: JMs have a "different taste" for heat and high temps...
     

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