This tree is a native of Japan and was introduced in the United States in 1864. Sometimes it grows as a shrub. People sometimes call it the "Japanese Maple" but that common name usually refers to Acer palmatum. The bark is smooth and gray in color. It grows well in moist but well-drained, rich soils, but it is not as tolerant of heat as the Japanese Maple. Gardeners plant this tree, as well as its varieties, as ornamentals.