Three-flower maple (Acer triflorum) is another of the "Japanese" maples that is overlooked in the rush to plant Acer palmatum in its purple leaf and laceleaf varieties. It's a great small tree (30', slow to grow), hardy to zone 4, with stupendous red-orange fall color and peeling, golden bark that's very attractive even if not so polished as the bark of a paperbark maple. All those other attributes aside, we'd grow it solely for this ballet it performs while leafing out.

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