Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’:
When you think of maples, autumn colour is often the first thing that comes to mind (along with their beautiful winged seed helicoptering to the ground) but many also have incredible flowers in the spring. A lot of the spring flowering trees such as magnolia and cherries can be so flamboyant and blousy, demanding the eye’s attention and so dainty things like maples can often be overlooked. Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ is one of the best maples for flower and has just started at Gravetye. Its little red flowers against the fresh emerging foliage are enchanting; it is probably my favourite Japanese maple of them all.
Words by Tom, photograph by Hannah