A small tree, with branchlets and young branches red. Leaves variegated though this character is somewhat unstable (van Gelderen & van Gelderen 1999). Distributed in cultivation only.
USDA Hardiness Zone 7-8
RHS Hardiness Rating H5
Awards Award of Merit
Introduced by the Crown Estate Commissioners (UK) in 1985 (van Gelderen & van Gelderen 1999), ‘Silver Cardinal’ is one of several selections that have previously been attributed to Acer × conspicuum. However, that placement appears not entirely satisfactory and though it was raised from seed of A. pensylvanicum, its other parent appears to more likely be A. rubescens than A. davidii. van Gelderen et al. (1994) speculate that it could be either of these, while treating it within A. × conspicuum. It bears variegated leaves on red stems and though it is prone to reversion, it appears variegated following hard pruning (van Gelderen & van Gelderen 1999).