Acer palmatum ‘Shigure bato’ – This matsumurae type almost has a weeping (or at least spreading) growth habit and has green leaves (emerging with red edges) with thin tapered lobes. These shift to a glorious golden-yellow to orange (occasionally crimson) in the fall. The cultivar name translates as ‘late fall rain’. Good in containers. Grows 5-6′ high by 6-8′ wide in 10 years. Zone 5.
Acer palmatum ‘Katsura’ – Golden-orange spring growth with slightly darker margins is the primary attraction of this cultivar. The leaf lobes have a very delicate taper and the overall crown is quite dense at maturity – good for privacy. Expect lime green summer tones, shifting to an intense yellow and orange in the fall. AGM. Grows 15-18′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 6.
Acer palmatum ‘Hubb’s Red Willow’ – This dense growing upright form has the look of a Heavenly Bamboo or Nandina. The reddish-purple leaves have thin, tapered lobes and shift to tones of red and orange in autumn. Young specimens are vigorous in growth but slow with age, eventually maturing to a short, rounded tree. Grows 6-8′ high by 4-5′ wide in 10 years. Zone 5.
Acer palmatum ‘Twilight’ (syn. ‘Yugure’, ‘Yuhgure’) – The Japanese cultivar name is variously translated as ‘twilight’, ‘evening cloud’ or ‘dusk’ which references the ever-changing foliage which emerges crimson, fades to amber or bronze (shown here) with some green, and eventually shifts to a brilliant red in fall. Grows 8-10′ high by 4-6′ wide in 10 years. Zone 5.
Acer palmatum ‘Beni shichihenge’ – With a Japanese name that translates as ‘red and changeful’, you know you can expect something completely different. This cultivar is somewhat similar to ‘Butterfly’ in spring, but with salmon-pink highlights in the creamy-white margins. It is an upright form with irregular lobes (5-7 per leaf). Grows 10-12′ high by 6-8′ wide. Zone 6.