We don’t just sell amazing Japanese maples, exotic conifers and rare plants, we’re also landscapers. We’ve built some beautiful gardens on our own property, and for our customers. Here’s a tour of our gardens…
Sawa Chidori Japanese maple is another one of the sought after variegated varieties. It’s unfortunately less popular among Acer Palmatum collectors, often overshadowed by the more marketable “Ghost” cultivars. While it may not be as colorful as Amber Ghost, Sawa Chidori still puts on on a glorious show throughout the spring and briefly in the fall.
The Sawa Chidori cultivar was first introduced in 1988. The name means “Marsh Plover,” most likely chosen for the resemblance to the bird’s speckled feathers.
Sawa Chidori Leaves
The show begins in April and May as the large burgundy buds begin to swell. When they finally burst, you’re greeted by pale, cream colored foliage surrounded by the tattered, deep maroon remnants of the buds. The colors are almost vintage-inspired: aged doilies and burgundy felt.
Acer Palmatum Sawa Chidori’s leaves emerge creamy white with rose and peach frosted edges and vibrant green veins. The soft amber shading of the leaves gives them a 3D appearance even when they’re completely flat.
Before long, the warm amber colors fade, leaving behind a mix of pale cream and glowing yellow-green tones with bronzed tips.
As June progresses, the yellows shift to vibrant greens, with shaded leaves retaining a milky white reticulation.
Sawa Chidori Fall Color
Finally, in the fall, the tree puts on a last fiery show of glorious red with a slight pinkish orange tone. The red leaves are absolutely spectacular against the green bark.
As you can see in the photos above, new growth is deep maroon and reddish brown, and older wood is a beautifully saturated pea green. It’s a stunning shift from to see the colors change from warm tones in spring to these cooler green tones in later summer.
Size, Habit, Hardiness
The Sawa Chidori Japanese maple is an upright tree that grows to about 15 feet tall and 8-10 feet wide at maturity. It generally grows about twelve inches per year.
This cultivar is quite full and bushy when healthy. Therefore, you may wish to prune it lightly to expose the green bark and the pale leaves within.
Acer Palmatum Sawa Chidori prefers mostly shade to retain more reticulated coloring. However, it will tolerate some sun without burning too badly. The tree is hearty within zones 5a – 8b.
Other Reticulated Japanese Maples
If you really love Sawa Chidori, you should explore some other reticulated trees. Here’s a short list of some of our favorites:
Buy Sawa Chidori
If we are sold out of this tree, or you’d like to purchase a larger specimen than what we have listed, just send us an email. We frequently have, or can get, trees that aren’t listed in our website store.
Geisha Gone Wild Japanese maple is a gorgeous pink and green variegated tree with brilliant magenta leaves emerging in the spring. As summer approaches, the intensity of the foliage begins fading to a soft pink before shifting to pale greens with hints of jade, cream, gray and purple. Bright yellow green bark adds even more eye-popping interest to this already stunning maple.
Geisha Gone Wild Japanese Maple Leaves
The Geisha Gone Wild Japanese maple is a seedling from ‘Geisha’ which was selected and named by Buchholz and Buchholz Nursery. The leaves are similar, but the plant is more vigorous. Instead of spotted variegation, it will have pink and cream margins like ‘Shirazz’. The leaves of the original Geisha cultivar tend towards the bubble gum shade of pink rather than the deep raspberry of Geisha Gone Wild.
Leaves growing on old branches of Acer Palmatum Geisha Gone Wild are smaller, more symmetrical and often colored pink with faint flecks of green. New growth foliage tends to be large and slightly deformed—but in a beautiful way. New leaves often have a long, sickle-shaped central lobe with a purple, gray or maroon coloration. Fall color is purple with orange tones.
This trait of larger leaves with less characteristic coloration is not unique to the Geisha cultivars. Another favorite tree of mine is the Ukigumo Japanese maple, also called floating clouds. It displays larger, less colorful leaves on first year branches and smaller white dappled leaves on older growth.
Size, Habit and Hardiness
The Geisha Gone Wild Japanese maple is a medium-sized tree, reaching about 6-7 feet tall and perhaps 4 feet wide in ten years. It tends to be slightly bushy with a few long lower branches and several leaders that eventually form a multi trunk canopy.
Geisha Gone Wild is a fairly hardy tree that’s able to withstand temperatures down to about -10º F, or USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 5a (although we’ve seen this cultivar thrive at lower temperatures than that.
Other Pink Japanese Maples
Looking for more pink Japanese maples? Acer Palmatum Shirazz is nearly identical to Geisha Gone Wild in every way. Another fantastic pink variety is Correlinium, who’s brilliant fuschia and salmon pink leaves will electrify your garden.