Acer palmatum Ikandi (pronounced eye candy) is a gorgeous new variegated Japanese maple with ruffled pink leaves in the spring, white and green tiger stripes in the summer, and vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows in the fall. Its green bark adds even more interest throughout the year.
Talon Buchholz selected Ikandi as a chance seedling from Alpenweiss (which itself was a seedling of Higasayama).
Plant Ikandi someplace special where you can show it off. But, make sure you can get close to it so you can really appreciate the incredible colors without trampling other plants in your garden.
Spring Color of Ikandi Japanese Maple
Ikandi leafs out a little earlier in the spring than other maples. Leaves first emerge yellow green with orange edges, but they quickly turn vibrant salmon pink with electric green veins. Yellow green petioles and the bright red “ribbons” left behind from the buds offer added interest.
Ikandi Summer Foliage
By late May, the pinks begin to fade from acer palmatum Ikandi, and you get to enjoy the green and white stripes. Leaves near the bottom and inside branches tend to be the whitest, especially if you keep this tree in a shady spot. It’s so much fun to lift the branches and marvel at the tiger stripes.
If you own this tree, you’ll always want your camera handy.
Fall leaves of Ikandi
All Japanese maples look incredible in the fall, but Ikandi surprises you once again with its display. Instead of keeping with the stripes from spring and summer, this tree dazzles like spilled water colors, bleeding tones of yellow, orange, pink and red.
The colors transition from golds to oranges, to pinkish reds, and even some purples and greens. But, the leaves change at different times, so you end up with a multi-tone affect. The electric green bark really looks outstanding against these warmer colors in the fall.
Ikandi Habit, Height, and Hardiness
Acer palmatum Ikandi should reach about 10 to 12 feet tall in 15 years with a width of about 6 feet. It tends to grow more vase shaped, similar to Ukigumo, rather than forming a broad canopy. That means this is an excellent tree for you to tuck into a corner section of your home that’s too small for most wide spreading cultivars. Just make sure it’s not too close to the house, or you’ll get water runoff and icicle damage.
Like most Japanese maples, Ikandi likes a bit of shade. If you give it morning sun with protection from the midday sun, you’ll get just enough pink without burning the delicate leaves.
Since this cultivar breaks bud earlier in the spring, it can be more susceptible to late frosts. So, if you live in zone 5 or lower, you may want to consider keeping it in a pot that you can bring inside when the temperature dips. Otherwise, consider protecting it with some burlap. Planting the tree out of windy areas can also help.