Crimson Queen

Crimson Queen Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Crimson Queen' (Crimson Queen Laceleaf Maple)

To capture the best light on a grey, overcast day, I moved the red queen to the front of the balcony for these first two photos. Usually, though, this elegant tree occupies the sheltered back corner where she adds beauty, grace and -- especially this November -- brilliant colour.

287/365 - alternate

A closer look at the foliage, "deeply cut and finely serrated, delicate and elegant" (Ezra Haggard's apt description; see links below) 

The manner by which 'Crimson Queen' marks the seasons -- purple for spring, bicolor for summer, bright red for autumn, then revealing its limb structure for winter -- makes it an all-season delight (Paghat's Garden).


Crimson Queen Laceleaf Maple

Two months ago, 'Crimson Queen''s leaves were green and deep reddish-purple (September 2010) 

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Crimson Queen' delights from spring through fall and serves as a natural sculpture in winter. Foliage, form, and structure all combine to make it one of the most interesting trees for the garden. 'Crimson Queen' ... tend[s] to form shrubby mounds, wider than tall, 8' to 10' in height and 12' wide. Branches can be kept weeping all the way to the ground or be pruned up for a more tree-like, pendulous effect. The gnarled, twisted branches have their own beautiful pattern, creating a triangular shape that takes a while to come into its own....The foliage of 'Crimson Queen' is a deep reddish-purple, 5 to 9 lobes deeply cut and finely serrated, delicate and elegant....As the tree matures, the branches form a living sculpture, spreading outward and curving upward (Trees, shrubs, and roses for midwest gardens).

Japanese maples and black mondo grass  


The balcony garden 3 years ago (September 2007)

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Crimson Queen' (Crimson Queen Laceleaf Maple) - in rear

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Inaba Shidare' (Inaba Shidare Japanese Maple) - front left

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' (Black Mondo Grass) - front right


Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Crimson Queen' receives my highest recommendation for the small garden. I purchased a two-to-three year old specimen from a community plant sale in 2004 and since then, this lovely Japanese maple has grown slowly in the same place in the semi-shady corner of my balcony.


My growing notes:

  • Growing zone - 7-8 (Vancouver, BC); 'Crimson Queen' is hardy to Zone 5.
  • Location on balcony - sheltered northwest corner, semi-shade.
  • Container size - 13-inch (33 cm) diameter, glazed ceramic pot; however, 'Crimson Queen' will need to be repotted to a larger container before next spring.
  • Soil - organic potting mix enriched with vermicompost; refreshed every spring.
  • Age - Unknown but at least 8 years; I've had 'Crimson Queen' for 6 years (since June 2004).
  • Pruning/Staking - I haven't done much pruning, other than remove dried branches. This autumn, though, I removed the bamboo stake, which had been promoting an upright habit; without this support, beginning with next spring's growth 'Crimson Queen''s leader branch should begin cascading down.

Recommended links for more information:

Google books excerpt from Trees, shrubs, and roses for midwest gardens by Ezra Haggard

Paghat's Garden

Gardener's World