Day 131: Paperbark maple

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year


Peeling skin is not a good look for most creatures. For a tree, though, it seems to work, and Acer griseum, the paperbark maple, has certainly worked out how to turn this ailment to its best advantage. Paper thin layers of bark curl back from the cinnamon-coloured trunk and branches to present the observer with a curiosity under most lighting conditions but, if backlit by the rays of a setting sun, a thing of real beauty. It’s a handsome enough specimen in the garden at this time of year with its fresh green foliage, but I have to admit to a particular fondness for its bright red autumn leaves. This one in the gardens at RHS Wisley looks as though it’s being tickled by the bistort (Persicaria bistorta) flowers on their long stems. 

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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.