WSU Clark County Extension

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Moonfire Japanese Maple

Scientific name: Acer palmatum 'Moonfire'

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:6 to 9
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:20 ft
Width:20 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April
Bloom Color:Red
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description The upright Japanese Maple cultivar Moonfire is a popular alternative to the cultivar Bloodgood especially in the hotter regions of the southern United States as it maintains its deep purple color during the summer.

Moonfire Japanese Maple will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate. The literature reports that it can grow for 80 years. The foliage comes out dark purple in the spring before turning red during the summer. Fall color is purple.

The name refers to the translucent characteristic of the leaves. They tend to glow as if on fire when viewed with the sun in the background.

Best color is achieved when this plant is in full sun.

Ensure that the planting site offers good air circulation and soil moisture drainage which will help reduce the incidence of bacterial canker.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234