The initial flush of leaves on Acer metcalfii was this glossy purplish black. I enjoyed those for several weeks as they lightened toward a dark blackish green.
The new growth that followed the initial flush was an incredible lacquered red. Those change to purple before maturing to green. Now all three colors are present! BTW, the blur in the background is a Schefflera taiwaniana. What a nice bright green blob to contrast with the dark maple leaves.
I purchased this tree last summer from Far Reaches Farms as Acer davidii var. metcalfii. It has since been upgraded to a species in its own right (at least until the taxonomists change it again). I've been so happy with this attractive little tree, and it's only going to improve with age, especially once the trunk gets big enough to really show off its stripes. I'm so glad I bought one last year when they were still in stock, and way less than the $100 they were marked up to afterwards.
The stats on Acer metcalfii, borrowed from Far Reaches website:
- USDA hardiness zone: 7a
- Mature size: 30' or more
- Sun to part sun (protection from afternoon sun, especially the trunk, is good for stripe-bark maples in general)
- Average to moist soil
- So far appears to be clay tolerant, since the soil it's growing in in my garden has a lot of clay.
My favorite plant is hosted by Loree of Danger Garden. Check in at the end of the month for a round-up of her favorite plants in the garden and check the comments for favorites of other bloggers.
With my energy back, I've been busily (obsessively) surfing websites seeking inspiration for my various project areas, mainly the driveway island. Rather than drawing up a plan, I've simply been assembling photos of the plants I want on a Pinterest board. Some of them are just ideas while others are definitely going in, if they aren't growing there already. I may decide to draw up a plan later, but for now I'm just playing with ideas. With summer heat officially here, I'm going to try not to plant or move anything until fall. Instead I'll be (hopefully) touring other gardens for inspiration. If I try to go to nurseries for inspiration I usually end up bringing plants home.