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Acer palmatum
'Sangokaku'
Japanese Coral Bark Maple
 
Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku' at SF Botanical Garden by Joanne Taylor
Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku' Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku' Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku' Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku' Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku'

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The winter scene in the Botanical Garden is enhanced with the brilliant scarlet bark of a Japanese maple cultivar called 'Sangokaku' which translates to 'coral tower' in Japanese. After the leaves have dropped, the bark and twigs take on a coral-red tinge that grows deeper as winter advances. Many maples tend to have a blush of red along their petioles or leaf stems, but nothing equals the intensity of color in the bark and branches as that of 'Sangokaku'. In spring the new leaves are a light green, and make a striking contrast against the coral bark which is then beginning to fade to the normal shade of pale brown. In fall, the leaves turn gold, drop, and by December the cycle of bark color begins again.

The leaves of Acer palmatum are delicate and palmate, dissected into 5 or 7 lobes or points. The trees tend to remain small and delicate, growing to 20' at best, making them popular for small gardens. They are native to Japan and Korea and widely cultivated in China and the rest of the world. As an ornamental tree it is extremely variable in cultivation. As a result, cultivars have been developed accentuating these variations: size of leaf, color of bark (like Sangokaku), leaves and growth habit.

Profile
Scientific Name Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku'
Family Sapindaceae
Plant Type Tree
Environment In the Bay Area, full sun combined with colder temperatures will bring out the best bark color. In warmer climates, full sun can scorch the leaves, so morning light is best; Avoid a windy spot; can handle clay or sandy soil as long as there is good drainage.
Bloom Flowers are small, reddish and are followed by samara (winged fruits). This maple will give brillant color and texture almost year-round, with winter bark, new emerging spring leaves and fall color all spectacular.
Uses Makes a great tree for landscaping due to its size (25' x 20') and as an accent tree due to its foliage and bark; can be grown in a container usually topping out at 6-10'.
More Info The samara (winged fruits) are shaped to carry the seed on the wind away from the parent tree.

This cultivar used to be known by many as 'Senkaki' which is now a synonym; also known under the names 'Cinnabarinum', 'Cinnabar Wood Maple,' 'Corallinum' and 'Coral Bark Maple'.

Sangokaku also can be translated to 'coral pillar' with the pillars being the upright, coral-colored branches which glow against the snow and the gray-browns of winter.

In 1993, the Royal Horticultural Society gave this maple the Award of Garden Merit.

Location

Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku' is located in the Entry Garden (Bed 5B), Exhibition Garden (Bed 3H), Temperate Asia Garden (Bed 7A), Moon Viewing Garden (Bed 74) and the Rhododendron Garden (Bed 72D).

Visiting Info >>
Map (Bed Numbers) >>

Available at our next plant sale
 

IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Photos by Docent Joanne Taylor; text by Docent Kathy McNeil; profile by Associate Curator David Kruse-Pickler

 
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Magnolia dawsoniana

Magnolia dawsoniana

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

February

Magnolia laevifolia'Strybing Compact'

Magnolia laevifolia 'Strybing Compact'

March

Aristolochia californica

Aristolochia californica

April

Chlorogalum pomeridianum

Chlorogalum pomeridianum

May

Arbutus menziesii

Arbutus menziesii

June

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

July

Cistus sp.

Cistus sp.

August

 
Magnolia campbellii

Magnolia campbellii

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Magnolia x veitchii

Magnolia x veitchii

March

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

April

Aesculus californica

Aesculus californica

May

Vaccinium ovatum

Vaccinium ovatum

June

Sambucus racemosa

Sambucus racemosa

July

Sequoia sempervirens

Sequoia sempervirens

August

Asarum caudatum

Asarum caudatum

September

Deppea splendens

Deppea splendens

October

Montanoa spp.

Montanoa spp.

November

Bidens sp.

Bidens sp.

December

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

February

Bomaria spp.

Bomarea spp.

March

Rhododendron occidentale

Rhododendron occidentale

April

Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum

May

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

June

Salvia leucantha

Salvia leucantha

July

Hydrangea seemannii

Hydrangea seemannii

August

Wollemia nobilis

Wollemia nobilis

September

Cyathea cooperi

Cyathea cooperi

October

Pinus radiata

Pinus radiata

November

Correa spp.

Correa spp.

December

Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica

January

Magnolia x soulangeana

Magnolia x soulangeana

February

Senecio glastifolius

Senecio glastifolius

March

Ribes spp.

Ribes spp.

April

Oxalis oregana

Oxalis oregana

May

Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora

June

Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Passiflora parritae

Passiflora parritae

September

Malvaviscus arboreus

Malvaviscus arboreus

October

Monterey Cypress

Monterey Cypress

November

Aloe arborescens

Aloe arborescens

December

Aloe plicatilis

Aloe plicatilis

January

Banksia seminuda

Banksia seminuda

February

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia aethiopica

March

Magnolia laevifolia

Magnolia laevifolia

April

Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Toxicodendron diversilobum

June

Clarkia sp.

Clarkia sp.

July

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

August

Brugmansia

Brugmansia

September

Cedrus spp.

Cedrus spp.

October

Protea repens

Protea repens

November

Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis

December

Thujopsis dolabrata

Thujopsis dolabrata

January

Gordonia longicarpa

Gordonia longicarpa

February

Rojasianthe superba

Rojasianthe superba

March

Echium spp.

Echium spp.

April

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

May

Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis purpurea

June

Felicia amelloides

Felicia amelloides

July

Ceroxylon quindiuense

Ceroxylon quindiuense

August

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna

September

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

October

Acer morrisonense

Acer morrisonense

November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

January

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

March

Leptospermum Spp.

Leptospermum

April

Salvia gesneraeflora

Salvia gesneraeflora

May

Lavandula spp.

Lavandula spp.

June

Pelargonium

Pelargonium

July

Fuchsia paniculata

Fuchsia paniculata

August

Luma apiculata

Luma apiculata

September

Luculia

Luculia

October

Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

November

Cycads

Cycad

December

Restionaceae

Restionaceae

January

Hellebores

Hellebores

February

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

March

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

April

Psoralea pinnata

Psoralea pinnata

May

Fremontodendron californicum

Fremontodendron californicum

June

Leucadendron argenteum

Leucadendron argenteum

July

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

August

Gunnera tinctoria

Gunnera tinctoria

September

Pellaea rotundifolia

Pellaea rotundifolia

October

Fuchsia boliviana

Fuchsia boliviana

November

Erica canaliculata

Erica canaliculata

December

Magnolia campbelli

Magnolia campbelli

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Camellia

Camellia

March

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

April

Acmena smithii

Acmena smithii

May

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

June

Dendromecon harfordii

Dendromecon harfordii

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Eupatorium purpureum

Eupatorium purpureum

September

Epilobium canum sp.

Epilobium canum sp.

October

Grevillea spp.

Grevillea spp.

November

Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri

December

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