Acer palmatum 'Tsura nishiki'

Discussion in 'Acer palmatum cultivars (photos)' started by mjh1676, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Here is a fun little tree that I have been enjoying for almost a year. Now in its 4th year this variety rests in obscurity, but I suspect similar to past or present varieities. It was said to have been imported from Japan some years back, this tree being not too far removed from the original grafts made from that wood. While I attempted some research, aside from the above facts, little is known about the plant. While close in name to Tsuri nishiki, this plant has no relation.

    What can be said is that it is pretty slow growing, likely to be considered a semi-dwarf as the years pass. It shines in the spring with blood red leaves as the buds open followed by a bright red leaf with blackish reticulation. The leaves are small with serrated margins and rest on very short petioles. Overall, the leaves position themselves in a layered fashion and the tree grows in this manner also. The spring red makes way for a more purple tone on the leaves and the reticulation slowly receeds. As summer approaches, the green undertones of the leave come through, and in partial shade, the leaves become mostly green with little reticulation to be seen. New summer growth will be red.

    Tsura nishiki gives the visual impression that it might be a seedling selection from Kasagiyama, or in some way related, if not directly a form of it. This leaf form and the overall characteristics of the tree are being seen in a number of varieties recently introduced--while a nice tree, I have yet to form an opinion about its uniqueness.

    Photo dates: 04/10/05, 04/14/05, 05/02/05, 07/11/05, 08/25/04
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2005
  2. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Here at the photos from above.
     

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  3. yweride

    yweride Active Member 10 Years

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    looks like 'Purple Ghost' or the like.
     
  4. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Some similarity to Purple Ghost, but only in photo. To view them close up would be to see more difference. Purple Ghost will have a thickerleaf with an irridescent green underside. The lobes are more serrated and there is some undulation or subtle twisting in Purple Ghost. The most similarity seems to be seen in their early spring coloration and leaf--very likely the same parentage. The Tsura will tolerate the sun a bit better also.

    MJH
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    There are multiple similar culitivars of Japanese maples, as with other groups where numerous slight variations have been named and propagated (old garden roses, hollies, various conifers, irises, hostas...). 'Looks like' does not automatically equal 'same'.
     
  6. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Agreed--'Looks Like" dose not equal "Same."

    As with other plants where varieties with small differences are separated out and named, it is helpful to point out the small differences when we make the connection between the similar plants. We rely on those that know a given plant or are lucky enough to be growing them side by side to know the subtle differences. It would be of little use to grow both plants, outside of collecting them, but one may have have a characteristic more suited to a particular situation.

    As I did not mention above, Purple Ghost will be more of an upright grower where the Tsura nishiki seems to grow more compact and wide. Purple Ghost will almost always have a darker purple color outside of the red seen on the new growth.

    Rather then comparing these two plants to eachother, it would be more helpful to see them compared to the forms of Kasagiyama--a comparision that I am not prepared to provide.

    MJH
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Another complication is the raising of some cultivars from seed. In the realm of Japanese maples the obvious example is 'Bloodgood', nurseries putting often quite dissimilar seedlings on the market under this name. Attempted naming of specimens passed over the back fence or found growing in a yard should be done with the awareness that home gardeners also raise trees and shrubs from seeds, with a plant in question perhaps being one of these. Here I have asked what some purpleleaf plums were and been told the neighbor raised them from seed. Plum pits are large and easily handled. I suspect the conspicuous fruits of 'Lennei' saucer magnolia have also been used rather often by amateurs (and nurserymen) to raise a fair number of the saucer magnolias one encounters in local gardens, making assignment of a clonal cultivar name impossible. Similar bluish and yellow seedlings can be seen coming up near Port Orford cedar trees as well, the parent specimens almost certainly planted as named, vegetatively propagated cultivars.
     
  8. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Fall color photo: 11/10/05

    Slow to fully turn, the color is uniform and the leaves are still holding up well. As you can see in the late summer photo below, we see some green come through in the purple. The fall color change is really not dramatic as the deep red comes in to unify the leaf color.
     

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  9. krautz33

    krautz33 Active Member 10 Years

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    This tree has interesting leaves
     

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