Acer Starfish

Sea creature-like leaves, you ask? I’m sure a myriad of scaly, wriggly, tentacle-decorated critters are whizzing through your mind, but the creature that I’m referring to is a starfish! This Acer has starfish shaped leaves, which are perfect for adding interest to any garden.


How to grow Acer Starfish

Flowering time: April – May

Location: Large patio containers, backs of borders

Soil: Moist and well-drained

Light: Semi-shade or dappled shade

Water: Water regularly throughout growing season until well-established

Care: Lightly prune to maintain shape

Size: Mature height and spread of 200cm


Acer Starfish

How was this tree created?

This particular tree was selected from a seedling bed at Vergeldt Nursery in The Netherlands around 15 years ago. While looking over the entire bed, the breeder spotted the tree for its unique leaf form – that sensational starfish shape! After running tests over several years with the grafted trees, the breeder decided to introduce it to suppliers.


Acer Starfish

What’s different about this tree?

We must talk about those leaves! Each long, slender blade curls in at the edges, creating a plump, cushioned effect in the shape of a star. This happens on the older leaves, which means your tree will become more unique and interesting as it ages!


Acer Starfish

Where can you plant Acer Starfish?

This tree is narrow-growing and not extremely vigorous, which means that it’s ideal for large patio containers and small gardens. If you have the room, then the Acer Starfish would be perfect for the back of a border, or as an architectural feature in a landscaped garden.

If you have a Japanese garden theme, then this Acer is a must-have for you! The Starfish is an Acer palmatum, which is otherwise known as a Japanese maple, denoting its origins where it has been cultivated for centuries (it’s also found in other parts of Asia, such as China and Korea). These trees are popular for use in the art of bonsai, and have been the subject of many Japanese artworks. Build on your Japanese garden theme alongside your Acer Starfish with Rhododendrons, Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass), Peonies, Wisteria and Styrax japonicus.

Where can you buy this plant?

Acer Starfish is available in the UK from Thompson & Morgan and Suttons.


Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe.

See every Plant of the Month here.

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  • Gill

    Great information as I’ve learnt something new today really enjoy your e mails very informative

    August 31, 2021

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