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Acer palmatum ‘Hiryu’ (Flying Dragon Maple)

The evocative, Flying Dragon Maple, ‘Hiryu’, is a beautiful upright Japanese acer with narrow, fresh green leaves edged in a lighter shade of green. In autumn, the leaves become an appropriately fierce and fiery red, orange and yellow. The slightly twisted, palmate leaves appear to glide and swoop. They are held so delicately on their slim petioles that they seem to soar from the tree branches like a wing (possibly the collective noun) of tiny dragons. That’s if you’re feeling poetic. Through more practical spectacles, this acer works especially well in planting designs that incorporate low-growing, broad-leaved evergreen balls and other topiarised forms. The feathered leaves contrast beautifully against tighter clipped plants and the structured cloud forms of our Niwaki. The leaves will tremble and shake gently in the breeze adding additional movement. Enchanting. It will happily live in a pot, too, given a generously-sized one placed in a sheltered spot.

Happy in full sun to dappled shade. They do need a position with a cool, moist root run in fertile soil that is acid to neutral.

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 round 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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