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Acer negundo ‘Flamingo’ (Ash leaved Maple or Boxelder Flamingo)

Acer negundo ‘Flamingo’ is one of our most interesting deciduous acers. A subtle, pastel variegated form with defined but soft margins of cream. In the spring, it has a stunning pink tinge to its young leaves which gradually turn a green colour heading into summer. These pale further as the season progresses, softly blanching in autumn into a delightful white until they finally drop.

It is a relative of the Japanese Maple but not actually a Japanese variety. If it were to undergo a session of psychological analysis it might confide that it suffered from some sort of an ugly duckling / beautiful swan complex. And you wouldn’t blame it. It’s considered something of a ruffian in various parts of the world both as a weedy species and because its juvenile leaflets look at first glance to resemble those of the allergenic plant, poison ivy. Points, which while based on fact, unkindly taint the reputation of this super variegated form and to dwell on them only highlights a lack of imaginative horticultural ambition.

Yes, it is quite vigorous: it can grow to about 9m as a mature tree. But the ‘freestyle’ habit means you can flex your creative maintenance muscles and train it in numerous ways; any shape from a full and compact specimen to a narrow upright tree. It is excellent for smaller and more compact gardens, a courtyard maybe, or if you want to make a statement in your front garden without upsetting the neighbours. We like to incorporate this one into many of our schemes as it’s so versatile and very pretty. It’s another champion go-to for our garden designers, especially as a key focal point. The variegation helps lift a rich evergreen planting scheme, bringing contrast and light. Almost like a spotlight, actually.


Full sun to light shade and needs to be kept out of strong winds. Happy on most soils but does like good drainage. You can give it a hard prune in early spring to give the best foliage.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate around the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

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Hardiness level Green

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Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.

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Ash leaved maple or Boxelder Flamingo

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