There are plenty of red dissected leaved Maples out there but Viridis Japanese Maple with its bright, light to medium green foliage may be the showiest of all the dissected leaved Maples. Leaves unfold in April with a delicate, thread-like look that belies the aggressive growth this plant maintains. This foliage gives the spreading, flowing form of this plant a frilly texture, lending to its appeal as a great specimen. Fall foliage color is outstanding as the green turns into bright, brassy yellow-orange shades that are traffic stopping.

Zone: 5 – 8

Mature Size: 8 – 12 ft. Tall x 10 – 14 ft. Wide

Growing Tips

Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Partial Sun


Viridis Japanese Maple is a dwarf, mounded, shrubby, multi-stemmed, green-leaved form with cascading branching and a weeping habit. It typically grows to 6-10′ tall. Michael Dirr suggests that Dissectum Viride Group is a “catch-all term” that covers all green leaf dissected types. Finely cut, palmate (7-9 lobes), green, dissected leaves (2-4” long) turn yellow to red in fall. Small reddish flowers in spring give way to greenish samaras which ripen in late summer to early fall. As with many maples, the flowers are rather attractive close up, but are not particularly showy from a distance.

The foliage is the “type” for dissectums with usually seven or nine lobes. Each lobe separates entirely to the petiole attachment. The lobes are multidissected or strongly pinnate, and extremely narrow with the deeply cut side separations again re-cut. Some descriptions refer to this as “deeply and doubly serrated in pinnate form.” Leaves range from 6 cm long and 7 cm wide on older wood to 10 cm long and 12 cm wide on younger wood. While these dimensions are large, the leaf is not “gross” but has the delicate tracery of the typical dissectum form. The petioles are usually about 4 cm long.

The green foliage holds color well through the summer. In extremely hot sun, the tips of the leaves may burn. Partial shade keeps the foliage bright all season. In the fall, delightful gold colors dominate with occasional splashes of crimson.

This strongly cascading maple has long, drooping branchlets that form a dome-shaped plant at maturity. It needs to be grafted high on a standard, or staked during the young formative years, so that it can attain some height from which to cascade. Very old trees (75 -100 years) may reach a height of 4 m.

Viridis Japanese Maple is best grown in moist, organically rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Grows well in sandy loams. May be grown in full sun in the northern parts of its growing range, but prefers some part afternoon shade in the southern parts of its growing range. New foliage may scorch in full sun locations in hot summers areas, particularly if soils are not kept consistently moist. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and keep roots cool. Avoid hot and dry sites. Site in locations protected from strong winds. Pruning is best kept to a minimum, but if needed should be done in late fall to mid-winter. Spring or summer pruning often results in significant bleeding.

See all our Japanese Maples. For more information on Japanese Maples, we recommend Japanese Maples: The Complete Guide to Selection and Cultivation.

Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall


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