Acer palmatum, commonly known as Japanese maple is a species of woody plant native to Japan and other nearby Asian countries. There are in fact over 250 cultivars of Japanese Maples however forms have been a part of their native Japanese history for centuries. It is believed the first recorded plant dates to 7th century, Dr Thunberg christened the species palmatum after the hand (palm) like shape of its leaves.
Maple trees have been a popular subject of Japanese art, poetry, and literature for thousands of years. Many classic Japanese works of art and poems are about the maple tree or the falling maple leaves.