|Acer japonicum is a tree in its native habitat and a large tree-like shrub in cultivation. This bushy, deciduous tree with rounded mid-green leaves turn red in the autumn. Small, red-purple flowers appear in April in long drooping corymbs. Leaves tend to scorch in hot, dry weather.
The cultivar, 'Vitifolium' is a treelike shrub to 50 feet high and almost as wide. The leaves are the same size as the species but more deeply incised, to half the blade. Autumn colors are scarlet, orange, crimson and yellow.