Fernleaf (Full Moon) Maple (Acer japonicum 'Acontifolium')
Walkway near SMATE
A small (15-30 feet tall) tree with fern-like medium green leaves that are deeply divided into 9-11 toothed lobes. Beautiful crimson fall color.
This tree was planted in honor of Marc Daugherty, longtime WWU gardener, who died of cancer in 2004. Marc was an admirer of Japanese maples. As told by gardener lead Randy Godfrey, Marc is responsible for the many English daisies that pop up in lawns all over campus. It seems that Marc planted a "wildflower lawn" on the south side of Western Gallery. When it was mowed, seeds of Bellis perennis did what evolution dictated - they adhered to the bottom of the mower, to be dispersed all over campus, wherever there was grass to mow. Thus we can thank Marc for providing random infusions of encouragement in the form of these ubiquitous, cheery little blooms.
Acer japonicum originated, naturally enough, in Japan. It was introduced into cultivation in the 1860s. It seems to be notably slow growing. All sources agree that its fall colors are truly exceptional.