Aconitifolium’ also known as the “Fern-Leaf Maple” is an incredibly diverse Japanese maple that can accent your home or business. ‘Aconitifolium’ although somewhat rare, is a firmly established tree that can be seen in virtually every arboretum, botanical garden, and Japanese maple collection throughout the world. The foliage is deep green and has good substance and texture. In the spring the white and maroon blossoms are quite striking. ‘Aconitifolium’ has intense fall coloration which last longer than most maples. Brilliant scarlet tones develop which has been known to turn various shades of purple. The appearance is flame red when looked at from a distance. This strong-structured maple is an upright grower that has a multi-branching habit. The leaves are multi-divided and deeply cut. Each leaf has numerous cuts which extend almost to the midrib. The irregular dissected leaves give it a fernlike appearance which gives rise to its common name “Fern-Leaf Maple.” This cultivar forms a round topped small tree which grows 8-12 feet tall. ‘Aconitifolium’ which has also been nicknamed the “Dancing Peacock” is a wonderful addition to any yard, patio, or garden. Recommended by: Ohio Plant Selection Committee, Awards: Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’

Problems with my Passionfruit clmber after cutting back, and an Acer that I moved? Hi Crocus I’ve recently had my garden designed and am very pleased with the results, (plus many good Crocus plants). Unfortunately, my gardener had to cut back my Passionfruit climber which is about 7 years old. Whilst the other climbers (Honeysuckle / Jasmine) are starting to bud and grow back the Passionflower doesn’t seem to be, – is there anything I can do to encourage growth? Also I have an Acer, (about 5 years old), which was frazzled by the sun last summer when I moved it from it’s semi-shaded pot, into the ground in more sun. Now there are only a couple of buds that are appearing on the ends of some of the old stems, – should I cut back the ones that don’t appear to be shooting, or again is there something I can do to encourage growth? Thanks Vickie

Vickie Kirk


Hello Vickie, Passionfruits often don’t recover from being cut back really hard, but the only thing you can do now is wait and see if it rallies around. I would be reluctant to feed it or try to push it, but do make sure it is watered when the soil gets reasonably dry. If however there are still no signs of growth by early June, then I doubt it will come good, so it may need to be replaced. As for the Acer, I would be patient and see if it does start the shoot from the other branches, but again by early June you will be able to see clearly if certain stems are dead and if they need to be cut out. Same rules apply here as to feeding and watering. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor


Crocus Helpdesk

Is an Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ suitable for a North East facing front garden? Hi, My front garden is North East facing, -it is an open site with no shade from other plants. I wondered if an Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ would be ok there? I am trying to find something that is a large shrub/small tree that I could plant in my 4m x 6m front garden but if you think the Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ wouldn’t be right could you recommend anything else? I like the idea of a multi stemmed plant. Many Thanks Lucy

Lucy Tudor


Hello Lucy, These plants will grow in full sun or partial shade, although they will need some protection during the hottest part of the day and shelter from cold winds. A north-east facing site is unlikely to be in full sun all day, so it should be fine, and it is a lovely plant. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor


Crocus Helpdesk

Specimen Ceanothus or another large bushy shrub…. Good afternoon, When I was first looking for a Ceanothus to replace the one we have in our front garden, I looked on your website, but you only had small ones. Our once lovely Ceanothus has been pruned out of all recognition again this year, as I planted it a bit too near our boundary when it was a baby. I know it may come back, but it is getting ridiculous as every time it grows back it has to be cut back again severely and then ooks a mess for most of the year. Have you got a nice, tall, bushy Ceanothus to replace it? I love my Ceanothus but perhaps if you don’t have a big one, do you have another large, flowering shrub as an alternative? Hope you can help Regards Margaret



Hello Margaret, it is rare to find larger sized Ceanothus as they are usually quite short-lived and don’t normally live longer than 6 – 8 years. We do have a selection of larger shrubs on our site like Hamamelis, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Acer, Cornus, Cotinus, Philadelphus, Syringa and Viburnum, so you may find something of interest. They will be listed in this section. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor


Crocus Helpdesk

Will an Acer, Weeping Willlow and Beech grow in clay soil? Hello, Will a Japanese Maple, Weeping Willow and a Copper Beech do well in deeply clay soil ? Thank you

Wendy Hall


Hello There, As long as the soil does not remain waterlogged for any length of time and you can dig in lots of sharp sand and composted organic matter, these plants should be fine. The willow will olerate a little more moisture than the other two. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor


Wendy Hall

Fungus and dry leaves on Acer? Hi there, I have noticed in the last week that one of my Acers has developed very dry yellowed leaves and a white soft fungus on its bark, what do you think this could be? My other Acers are fine, but I’m worried that this will spread. What can I do to remove/avoid this? Kind regards

nikki craig


Hello There, Acers are prone to a number of pests and diseases, but I suspect yours is suffering from a wooly scale – just click on the following link for more information. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor


Crocus Helpdesk

Acer trouble! My Acer isn’t doing well. It was purchased in April and took a while to get established once we planted it in it’s current large container. It was looking quite robust until this past month, when it’s began to look dry and dead in parts. We have removed it from a rather windy position and placed it in a sheltered area on our roof terrace, and continue to water it regularly. Any advice would be very appreciated. Many thanks Colin

Smith, Colin


Hello Colin, Acers have incredibly delicate leaves and I suspect yours has been scorched somehow. This can be caused by a number of things including not enough water, too much sun, temperatures that are either too hot or too cold, chemicals such as weed killers that have drifted in the wind and too much fertilizer. The most likely cause however is wind, as these plants especially dislike this and it always causes the leaves to discolour and die off. They are not ideally suited to roof terraces because of this, so I would move it to a much more sheltered spot if you can. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor


Crocus Helpdesk

Japanese Maple I have tried twice unsuccessfully to try and grow Acers. I love them, but they don’t seem to survive in the pots. I am using ericaceous soil, i hope that is correct. It was in a partially shaded area, but for some reason they doesn’t survive. Help, I want one in my garden and when I see those in the street who have well grown, old maples that look beautiful, I’m afraid I am filled with envy as I can’t seem to grow one in my garden. Advice please Desperate Acer lover

Shahla Samad


Hello There, Acers will grow in either neutral or acidic soil, and most will tolerate sun or light shade, especially through the hottest part of the day. The most important thing though is that they must have shelter from wind and they need to be kept well watered, but not waterlogged. Make sure the pot they are kept in is reasonably large and doesnt dry out to quickly, but the drainage holes allow all the excess water to drain away freely. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor


Crocus Helpdesk

Help with a Japanese-style corner please? Hello, I was wondering if you could please advise me with a planting related matter. We have a small area in front of our kitchen which has the (grotesque) wheelie bin next to it and then the front door. We thought a minimalist (fuss-free) Japanese scheme would work best. Because it is partially shaded, we decided that three Japanese Acers of different foliages (tall, medium, and small heights) placed in planters would brighten up that corner. However, before doing so, we wanted to know if the three Acers ought to have barriers between them or not and what plants would complement the Japanese look for ground cover, perhaps an ornamental grass. If so which varieties would work best for year round interest? Should we use a multipurpose compost for all these plants? We’d appreciate any other helpful tips you can give. Many thanks, Muna

Muna Hai


Hello again Muna, While it is true that Acers will not like disturbance to their roots, I have never heard of them needing a barrier, or that you cannot underplant them. When choosing what to plant it is worthwhile looking at the eventual height and spread of a plant. For example the Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Brilliantissimum’ will eventually grow to 6m tall x 8m wide, the Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ will grow to 5mtall x 6m wide and Acer palmatum ‘Sango-Kaku’ will grow to 6m tall x 5m wide. Therefore, the choice will be dependant on how much room you need to fill, and the effect you want to create. As for the Liriope, I have never heard of one called Aureum, so I am not sure which one you are referring to. Best regards, Helen Plant Doctor


Crocus Helpdesk

Many thanks for the early reply, Helen as I do need to sort it all out soon. The barrier I was referring to was for the roots as I’ve been told Acers don’t like to be fussed about with, which is why I was thinking Ishouldn’t plant anything else around it in the same planter, other Acers,or even ground cover plants? Also, bearing in mind they’re slow-growing, these are the Acers I’ve ordered. Please would let me know if I’m still mistaken in ordering so many? If there was one or two to keep and complement each other, which one(s) would they be? I probably still have time to change my order. Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Brilliantissimum’, Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’, Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’. Thanks for the Liriope suggestion. Is Aureum (the one without flowers) similar? Regards, Muna


Crocus Helpdesk

Hello Muna, My initial thought is that 1 Acer would probably be enough as most of them will get quite large as they grow. I am not really sure what you mean by needing barriers (roots or foliage screen?), as I have never heard of this with an Acer. Japanese Acers are beautiful plants and generally colour up well in autumn, but they will need a good amount of sun for this to happen, and then they lose all their leaves in winter, so you are left with bare twigs. Therefore your best option may be to have evergreen groundcover such as Liriope which looks a little like a grass, Pachysandra or Luzula to provide interest until the Acers puts on new growth again in the spring. Helen Plant Doctor


Muna Hai

Is there an evergreen Acer? Could I just ask if there is an Acer that is not ‘deciduous’ but ‘evergreen’?

Susan McGarragh


Sadly not as all Acers are deciduous.



This shrub is deciduous so it will lose all its leaves in autumn, then fresh new foliage appears again each spring.

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained neutral to acid soil
  • Rate of growth: slow-growing
  • Flowering period: April to May
  • Hardiness: fully hardy
    An elegant maple that is one of the best for autumn leaf colour. It can be grown as a small, spreading tree or multi-stemmed shrub and is brilliant for adding achitectural interest. Before the leaves emerge in spring, it produces small clusters of purple-red flowers, which are quite pretty up close, but don’t make much of an impact from a distance. The mid green, deeply cut foliage has a fern-like appearance and will turn spectacular shades of red and orange in autumn – especially when grown in partial shade. A super plant that has been awarded the coveted Award of Garden Merit by the RHS.
  • Garden care: Add a top-dressing of organic matter around the base of the plant in autumn. No routine pruning is required, just remove any dead, damaged or crossing branches in late autumn or winter when they are fully dormant. As the leaves may scorch in full sun on a summers day, try to plant it so it gets some protection during the hottest part of the day and shelter from cold winds.

Fernleaf Full Moon Maple, Japanese Maple ‘Aconitifolium’




Unknown – Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown – Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Foliage Color:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown – Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Marietta, Georgia

Champaign, Illinois

Palmyra, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Elkton, Maryland

Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Charlotte, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Euclid, Ohio


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Morrisville, Pennsylvania

Smokerun, Pennsylvania

Walhalla, South Carolina

Millington, Tennessee

Garland, Texas

Mechanicsville, Virginia

Des Moines, Washington

Longview, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

Racine, Wisconsin

show all

Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’

  • Attributes: Genus: Acer Species: japonicum Family: Sapindaceae Uses (Ethnobotany): Vigorous understory tree featuring attractive foliage and stunning fall color. Life Cycle: Woody Recommended Propagation Strategy: Seed Stem Cutting Dimensions: Height: 8 ft. 0 in. – 10 ft. 0 in. Width: 8 ft. 0 in. – 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits: Plant Type: Shrub Tree Leaf Characteristics: Deciduous Habit/Form: Mounding Multi-stemmed Rounded Spreading Growth Rate: Slow Maintenance: Low Texture: Fine
  • Cultural Conditions: Light: Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day) Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours) Soil Drainage: Good Drainage Usda Plant Hardiness Zone: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit: Fruit Color: Gray/Silver Pink Red/Burgundy Display/Harvest Time: Fall Summer Fruit Type: Samara Fruit Length: < 1 inch Fruit Description: Flowers are followed by winged samaras (to 1” long) which ripen in late summer to early fall.
  • Flowers: Flower Color: Gold/Yellow Gray/Silver Pink Red/Burgundy Flower Bloom Time: Spring Flower Description: Maroon flowers on long stalks appear in April.
  • Leaves: Leaf Characteristics: Deciduous Leaf Color: Gold/Yellow Green Orange Red/Burgundy Leaf Value To Gardener: Showy Deciduous Leaf Fall Color: Orange Red/Burgundy Leaf Type: Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately) Simple Leaf Arrangement: Opposite Leaf Shape: Lanceolate Ovate Leaf Margin: Lobed Hairs Present: No Leaf Length: 3-6 inches Leaf Description: Opposite, simple palmate fern-like leaves 3-6″ across, with reddish petioles and 7 to 13 acuminate, toothed and cut, ovate to lance-shaped lobes. The leaves’ color varies from deep green in summer, can be bright yellow, to orange-red fall color. Leaves tend to persist into winter.
  • Bark: Bark Color: Dark Brown Dark Gray Light Brown Light Gray
  • Stem: Stem Color: Brown/Copper Gray/Silver Stem Is Aromatic: No
  • Landscape: Landscape Location: Patio Small Space Walkways Landscape Theme: Asian Garden Design Feature: Small groups Small Tree Specimen Understory Tree Resistance To Challenges: Wind

Acer Palmatum Japonicum Aconitifolium

Available Sizes to buy online All Prices Include VAT Height Excluding Pot:
80-100cm (2ft 7-3ft 3)

Pot size: 20 Litres

Plant ID: 1422 2
Click to view photo of this size

Acer Palmatum Japonicum Aconitifolium

This image displays plant 80-100 cm tall.

Height Excluding Pot:
80-100cm (2ft 7-3ft 3)

Pot size: 20 Litres

Plant ID: 1422 2
Was £210.00 40% Off – Now £126.00

Was £210.00 40% Off – Now £126.00
Height Excluding Pot:
1-1.25m (3ft 3-4ft 1)

Pot size: 20 Litres

Plant ID: 1421 2
Click to view photo of this size Was £240.00 40% Off – Now £144.00

Acer Palmatum Japonicum Aconitifolium is more commonly known as the Full Moon Acer. A more unusual variety of Japanese Maple, these trees display red flowers followed by winged seed heads in early Spring before the ferny deep lobed leaves start to appear. The trees then display vibrant, brilliant green foliage in the summer slowly changing in the autumn to firey red.
This very beautiful Acer has been bestowed the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society, a sure sign that it will perform well in most gardens

Why buy these Acers? If you need a more mature Acer Tree these have a wide spreading habit with larger foliage. Very interesting red flower display in Spring followed by dark green foliage and vibrant claret red in autumn. A new Acer this year and a great addition to our collection of Japanese Acers.

More photos Best Autumn colour gallery

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