Acer pseudoplatanus Spaethii is a dark foliaged version of the Sycamore tree - Acer pseudoplatanus. This Acer has foliage which is bright green on the upper surface and a deep purple-red on the lower surface. It provides a spectacular display from spring right through to autumn, looking particularly attractive in summer when the foliage of other ornamental trees begins to fade a little. To finish off the display of foliage, in autumn it turns to a further orangey red before falling.
This unique cultivar is also sometimes referred to as Acer pseudoplatanus Atropurpureum. Acer pseudoplatanus Spaethii has all of the wonderfully tough and vigorous qualities of its parent, Acer pseudoplatanus, with the added benefit that it has much to offer by way of ornamental qualities in its bright and vibrant foliage.
It thrives in most soil conditions and is particularly useful in very windy, exposed and coastal conditions as Sycamore is one of the very few trees that will tolerate salt-laden winds and this variety also displays this stellar quality. There are very few varieties of tree that offer the benefit of being tolerant to coastal conditions, so this tree is perfect for schemes in an exposed or coastal location with the added benefit that it can offer unique ornamental foliage. It is a welcome alternative to the handful of other trees which will tolerate salt.
A widely underrated medium to large sized, rounded headed, tree which needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. In the industry the Sycamore tree has acquired a slightly tarnished reputation for being a weed, largely owing to its significant vigour and penchant for self seeding, however it is foolish to discount this dramatic coloured cultivar, especially in schemes situated in exposed or coastal areas and species choice is limited. It is all about the ‘Right tree in the Right Place’ after all.
As a word of caution, recent research has identified the foliage and samara of Sycamore to be poisonous to horses and therefore they should not be planted in and around paddocks.
Mature height: 17-22m