Momiji: Acer palmatum

There are many scenes only in Japan having the four seasons, for example, mountains. In spring, colorful flower the bloome, green leaves sprout and photosynthesize by sunlight in summer, then change of leaves in autumn. The state is colored leaves and that main species is called Momiji(Maple). Maple usually turns red and the leaves have deep notches. But, Maple which we know commonly is not name of species; it means color change of leaves. Generally, maple is tree of Hiroshima Pref.

The tree which turns red:Acer palmatum

There are a lot of species of maples in Aceraceae Acer and Acer palmatum which is main species of broad-leaves deciduous forest, but Acer oblongum subsp. itoanum is an only evergreen as an exception. Ginkgo and Fagus are other species which colored leaves, so the color is not red but also yellow or brown. Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is the most popular in Japan which has a height of there are 15m, the diameter of the trunk is more than 80cm. When colored leaves, many

Japanese maple which was used as decoration use is now seen anywhere in all over Japan, but the kind grow naturally prefer a low mountain above the sea level around 1,000m from the level ground.

The tree which turns red; examine is maple grow wild in the mountainous district of Fukushima Pref, southward. The place of the district in a high latitude belong to the subarctic zone is not suitable for the growth of the deciduous broad-leaved tree, conifers hold mostly there.

Mechanism of color change is very unique. Each ingredient is different as a colored leaved. At first, leaves of color are Green in summer because has Chlorophyll A, become cold and shorten hours of sunlight, chlorophylls A is resolves and make special tissue in joint of leaves. Next, Glucose, sucrose, amino acid; made in leaves, stored in itself, that is why new coloring matter is made from their sugar with photosynthesis, and then adjust the matter and male red or yellow color. Finally the leaves fall on the ground. In that, red colors of colored leaves is cause that chlorophyll change to anthocyanin, red from green, and yellow is change to carotenoid. But leaves that keep the original color, for example, purple color. Form of tree is various in Acer palmatum. For example, Japanese maple and Acer palmatum are become tall tree, their petal are very small.

Japanede meple was draw on Japanese old picture scrolls and cards, so it shows they are familiar to Japanese people. And maples are some 300 species from various breeding in Edo century.


  1. I’m from Okinawa where is no maple. So I’m interested in this article.I didn’t know that there are kinds of speices so much.I came to want to go sightseeing in the maple of various places.


  2. I think this articles is good. this articles says familiar species. so we can be very easy imagining. And I’m surprised many species from Edo century.


  3. I was learned mechanism of color change.Certain it mechanism is very unique.
    Acer palmatum is beautiful so,it is one of favorite plants for me.


  4. I didn’t know that the reason for the colored leaves is their sugar with photosynthesis. So, the leaves taking many sun light change vivid color.


  5. I didn’ know maples are some 300 species from various breeding in Edo century. I’m surprised maple which we know commonly is not name of species.


  6. It’s a beautiful picture! I took interest in Momiji.
    The mechanism of change color is very mysterious. Momiji is popular plant, so i would observe they as oppotunity permits.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.