Difference between Acer Palmatum 'Bloodgood' and 'Atropurpureum' Japanese Maple?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Imperfect Ending, May 17, 2009.

  1. Imperfect Ending

    Imperfect Ending Active Member

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    The only difference I've noticed is that Bloodgoods I see are grafted and the Atropurpureum aren't but what's the other difference between the two?

    Thank you very much
     
  2. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Bloodgood is a form of Atropurpureum selected for its good colour and its tendancy to hold the colour well throughout the growing season.

    In practice a seedling grown Atropurpureum might be very similar to a Bloodgood or it may be quite different, particularly in how long it retains the dark red colour. (I believe many nurseries use Bloodgood seeds to grow their Atropurpureums, so if you are lucky the difference may be minimal)

    Hope that is some help.
     
  3. Imperfect Ending

    Imperfect Ending Active Member

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    Ah... thank you :)

    Why is the price difference so great though? is it because of the graft?
     
  4. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    According to Japanese Maples Third Edition, by JD Vertrees and Peter Gregory, Atropurpureum could be any of a number of red cultivars. According to this source, "because many nurseries have used this name for any red-leaved seedling selection, it has become so diluted as to be meaningless." Further "the original plant of this name was probably an excellent clone originating from the old nursery of Constant Wattez...." So, Atropurpureum, which has also been called Blood Leaf, means a red Acer palmatum.
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Member

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    There are more differences.

    The colour of 'Atropurpureum' is more vivid, the colour of 'Bloodgood' is more monotonous, the colour of 'Bloodgood' is darker, the colour of 'Atropurpureum' is not so dark and with a light green undertone.

    The colour of 'Atropurpureum' changes several times in the growing season, from deep purple to bronze, and bronze-green, almost green in late summer and intense scarlet in fall, the colour of 'Bloodgood' does not change throughout the growing season, it is all the summer the same dark, deep red.

    The habit is quite different. 'Atropurpureum' does have a tree-like habit, with layering branches, which give a typical japanese impression, 'Bloodgood' is a little tree but with no layering branches and does not generate this typical japanese impression.

    The fall colour from 'Atropurpureum' is an outstandig scarlet, the fall colour from 'Bloodood' is normaly not so outstanding.

    In the Netherlands 'Atropurpureum' get's the highest award for garden beauty, three stars, there is no other a.p. which get this award.

    But, try to get this garden-beauty, and you will find out, it is almost impossible. Nearely nobody have the original, but you can get in every garden-center and every nursery a cheap copy, witch seems to look like the original, but really lacks all the outstandig qualities of the genuine 'Atropurpureum'.

    Some pics attached, showing the changing leaf colour throughout the season.

    The first four pics are from april and may, pics fife, six and seven are from the end of august and the last two pics are from the middle of october.
     

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  6. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  7. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I would guess it's for the reason Winterhaven cited above (quoting Vertrees, I think):

    "... because many nurseries have used this name ['Atropurpureum'] for any red-leaved seedling selection, it has become so diluted as to be meaningless."
     
  8. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    According to Van Gelderen's "Maples of the World" the cultivar A. p. 'Atropurpureum' is propagated by layering from a tree in the Netherlands. Can understand it being less readily available with the layering method, maybe along with high demand. Guessing maybe they want to keep the tree on it's own roots, rather than risk possibly diluting it's characteristics with grafting. Esveld lists an 'Atropurpureum Wattez', so maybe the effort has been made to distinguish the cultivar from others and ease availability.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  9. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I guess this may be interpreted as an argument against giving cultivars Latin-sounding names in the first place. Though one does rebel at market-friendly alternatives like 'Scarlet Shortcake.'
     
  10. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Ah ... and all this shows just why I am becoming more and more confused as I age ...... LOL
     
  11. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yes, that's for sure Kaspian. Agree Sam, confused too when i look in the mirror in the morning and recognize the face, but can't remember the name.
     
  12. Dan

    Dan Member

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    "... because many nurseries have used this name ['Atropurpureum'] for any red-leaved seedling selection, it has become so diluted as to be meaningless."


    Yes, that’s the problem! It is a shame!


    @ chimera

    I have some doubts if the pictures hier:

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=51180

    show true ‘Atropurpureum’, the lobes of the a.p. on the pics seprates to far to the leaf base. The leaves of ‘Atropurpureum’ are not so deeply cut. The colour of the ‘Atropurpureum’ is not so light-red, but more purple-red.

    “Esveld lists an 'Atropurpureum Wattez', so maybe the effort has been made to distinguish the cultivar from others and ease availability.”

    Esveld says that ‘Atropurpureum Wattez’ is the old type of ‘Atropurpureum’, from the 19th century: http://www.esveld.nl/htmldiaen/a/acpawa.htm

    They offer both, ‘Atropurpureum’ and ‘Atropurpureum Wattez’ and I take it, that the ‘Atropurpureum’ is the high awardet plant, which was here in Europe the most famous a. p. in the time after war, for several decades.

    Here are some other pics yet, made yesterday. You can see that the outher leaves are purple red, but the leaves inside the tree are more bronze. That is very typical for the true ‘Atropurpureum’. Only in the first weeks, when leaves are new unfolded, all leaves are purple red, you can see on the first pic in my first comment above (made five weeks ago). When season progress, the whole tree becomes more and more bronze and later bronze-green from inside, until late sommer, the tree will look like you can see on pics five, six and seven in my comment above. This double colour, inside bronze or bronze-green, outside purple red, gives the tree his special beauty. It is a vivid colour, not monotonous.

    In my opinion the 'Atropurpureum' from Esveld is realy 'Atropurpureum'. I bought a little plant this spring and this plant shows the qualitys of 'Atropurpureum', in growth habit, colour and leaf shape.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2010
  13. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The diluting of the 'Atropurpureum' Maple
    was probably our fault in the US. It is a
    real shame to see what has happened to
    the old European plant but then again the
    Europeans have not always helped that
    plant either.

    Years ago I found an 'Atropurpureum superbum'
    in a specialty nursery in Oregon that I liked
    a lot. When compared to the Esveld 'Attraction'
    the Superbum and their Attraction are not the
    same plant, not even close for Spring color
    and in growth habit as one tree is technically
    a standard (Attraction) and the Suberbum is
    a semi-dwarf. My tree which was propagated
    in 1985 is still only less than 9 feet (3m) tall.
    My tree starts out in the Spring as a black
    red with leaf sizes about the same as my
    ‘Shojo’ and has deeply divided leaves, divided
    well beyond 1/3 to 2/3 the length of the lobes
    in several leaves but also can yield palmate
    shaped leaves as well with divisions less than
    1/3 the length of the lobes. Then again my
    Wada form ‘Tsuma beni’ has done the same
    thing for years and even now has two distinct
    leaf shapes on the tree at the same time.
    All new flushes of new growth will have the
    deeply divided leaves, divided almost all the
    way to the palm of the leaf like the Superbum.

    Years ago it was concluded that some Maples
    were felt to be atropurpureum then and people
    ran with it such as calling a Maple Acer palmatum
    atropurpureum Musashino or Acer palmatum
    atropurpureum Novum. It was not long ago and
    still may be that there was a Maple named
    'Atropurpureum Novum'. It was the Europeans
    that used this spelling with both words capitalized.
    So, the question was that a few people had was
    is the European 'Atropurpureum Novum' the same
    plant as the US nursery industry plant Novum?
    Funny thing that when we want to market the
    Maple in the US we dropped off the atropurpureum
    part of the name and just left it as Novum or
    Superbum or Ō kagami, Musashino and so
    on.

    In the mid to late 80's in the US a rash of
    seedling plants were being sold in the nursery
    trade as being Atropurpureum. This is where
    things went haywire in that many nurseries
    all called any red Maple an atropurpureum
    even when the Maple may have been a
    rubrum group red or a shojo group red or
    a nigrum group red instead of being an
    actual atropurpureum group red. One
    prominent wholesale nursery at this time
    was calling their red form deeply divided
    Maples Red Ribbon Leaf and Ron B knows
    who I am referring to. Same nursery that
    called their unnamed and seedling red
    dissectums Red Lace Leaf. A few years
    ago I bought a 'Red Emperor', same plant
    that Don Kleim got through Red Maple
    nursery before I knew him prior to it being
    named (was called "Improved Bloodgood 2"
    at the time) with a Red Ribbon Leaf label
    on it. The experimental plant “Improved
    Bloodgood 1” later became Emperor I.
    [Don had them both to have in the nursery
    on a monitoring trial basis before 1982
    that I am aware of. Maybe Ed can shed
    more light on these two Maples but it
    was rather common for Don to have the
    plant long before it was ever released
    to other nurseryman, knowing full well
    he would not propagate the Maple for
    resale.]

    Bloodgood is not a universal good Fall
    color producer. Many but not all of the
    red Maples that turn green during the
    Summer do have a propensity to yield
    more scarlet and crimson tones than
    the Maples that do not green out. For
    us Bloodgood never turns a green color
    during the Summer, there is enough
    red overtone left in the leaves that may
    prevent it from being a good Fall color
    producer but in some areas in Oregon
    and Washington as well, cannot forget
    them here, Bloodgood can yield some
    good scarlet coloration that holds well
    on the tree but it requires an early and
    even decrease in cooler Fall temperatures
    to see it (abrupt cooling will not work).
    We do not get that here in the Fall. You
    guys still have not realized what I wrote
    when I talked about ‘Kiyohime akame’
    still producing new growth in December
    and by mid to late February is leafed
    out all over again. We are not talking
    about a long time period that this Maple
    does not have leaves on it. Who else
    sees 10 1/2 months of leaves with color
    on a Maple?

    I've seen the 'Atropurpureum' in Europe
    and although it will not color up as well
    for us here in the Central Valley I can
    say with confidence that the Europeans
    have good reason to adore that Maple
    and yes, it is better left on its own roots.
    Layering, air-layering and rooted cuttings
    still seem to work best for that Maple.
    Perhaps using red seedling understock
    may not hurt it in the Pacific Northwest
    like green seedling rootstocks can and
    have.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  14. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Your green tree is certainly not a Suminagashi Katalina
    Suminagashi is a red leafed plant
     
  15. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Dan, thanks again for describing more of the characteristics and Esveld as being a possible source. Kind of wondering what the underleaf looks like. Yes, also noticed the lobe divisions on the photo gallery tree and understand your concerns, more information about that tree from NyxLimit might be helpful. Maybe a separate thread would benefit the photo gallery and readers best. Thanks to Mr. Shep's contribution, also. All interesting information and good that Imperfect Ending brought up the question.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  16. Imperfect Ending

    Imperfect Ending Active Member

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    Wow... thank you very much for the pics
     

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