Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku')

The Japanese maple cultivar 'Sango Kaku' is prized for its winter interest of colorful bark and you will find it bordering the entry path that goes from the admission booth to the Conservatory. This pathway is designated the Winter Garden at the Botanical Center where plants have been chosen because they provide excellent winter color or contrast to winter landscapes.

The leaves of the Coral Bark Maple, which are delicate and palmate, emerge in April and display a pleasing yellow-green with plum to red edging. As the young leaves expand they turn light green for the rest of spring and then take on autumn-like hues of red and orange beginning in early summer. In the autumn the bark on the new twigs turns bright coral red (almost fluorescent) after the leaves fall.

Sango kaku translates from the Japanese to coral tower, a perfect description of how the tree appears in winter without its leaves.