Acer Palmatum Scolopendrifolium or Japanese Maple Shinobuga oka
We all know Japanese Acers can sometimes have complicated names. Acer Palmatum Scolopendrifolium is in a league of its own. It is synonymous with Shinobuga oka and it belongs to the Linearilobum group. There are several groups of Japanese Maples, such as the Dissectum group. The Linearilobum group is characterised for its leaf shape which is deeply lobed with very long slim almost fingerlike lobes on the leaves so these acers are often referred to as ‘fingerleaf’ acers.
To give justice to its full repertoire of names, these include Fingerlobe Acer, Acer Lineare, Acer Linearifolium and Scolopendrifolium Viride. It’s all the same plant.
Scolopendrifolium or if you prefer Shinobuga oka is a green-leave acer. The leaves are mid-sized and as you would expect from a Linearilobum Acer, each leaf has 5 narrow, strap-like, deeply lobed leaves, rather like the fingers on an outstretched hand. The leaves have an attractive downward draping habit. The leave colour is a very vivid deep green that stays throughout the growing season. They emerge in spring on short red stems. In autumn, the leaves turn a vivid yellow orange colour.
Acer Palmatum Scolopendrifolium has an attractive upright growth habit and will eventually reach a maximum height of around 5 metres. Here in the UK, it is happy when planted in full sun or partial shade. As with all Japanese Acers, Scolopendrifolium prefers slightly acidic soil.
Acer Shinobuga oka is a good acer for growing in a container.