Botanical Name: Acer palmatum 'Butterfly'
Common Name: Butterfly Japanese Maple  
Plant photo of: Acer palmatum 'Butterfly'
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Water Saving Tip:

Apply a layer of mulch around plants to reduce moisture loss.

Choose organic mulches, such as shredded bark, compost or aged sawdust.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type



Height Range



Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Blue Green, Pink, White, Variegated


Bark Color

Green, Striped


Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Half, Shade



High, Extra in Summer


Growth Rate



Soil Type

Clay, Loam


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Well-drained


Soil pH

Acid, Neutral


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Formal, Japanese, Tropical, Water Garden, Woodland


Accenting Features

Fall Color, Silhouette, Specimen, Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest

Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Entry, Shrub Border, Foundation, Patio, Raised Planter


Special Uses

Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
  • Description

  • Notes

This Japanese maple has blue-green leaves that are variegated with white and a hint of pink. In the fall, white margins turn bright magenta. Grow in filtered light to full shade, as the white foliage will burn in the heat of summer. Has an upright habit, and grows 12 to 15 feet tall and about 10 feet wide, though very slowly.
As will all Japanese Maples, provide deep, rich, well composted soil. If you are amending the soil, it is best to dig in compost to the plant's eventual width, so as to provide adequate conditions for the entire, eventual root profile. Amending just the hole that the tree is planted in is akin to planting the tree in a slightly bigger pot. Plant in filtered light to full shade, avoiding any mid-day sun or reflective sun. East or north exposures are best unless thre is a very good canopy and no reflective heat. Water weekly. Do not shear.