Acer circinatum, Vine Maple
This large, neat, deciduous shrub grows to about 15' with small, lobed leaves that turn wonderful shades of yellow, scarlet, and maroon in the fall. It is a great native substitute for the Japanese maple, with beautiful small red and yellowish flowers in the spring that are also, like other maple flower, edible. It is said to require two months of cold-stratification for germination (refrigeration in sealed plastic bag with lightly dampened vermiculite). However, it reseeds constantly in our coastal garden, which never freezes.
This shrub merits wider use. It's a great shrub of modest height for the urban garden. Its natural range is from B.C. to northern California, and it so far does well in the Bay Area. The seed is available in the fall and needs to be fresh, so order in the fall and we'll ship it when its available.
This shrub is so pretty that was used as "love medicine" by one CA tribe - "Make me as pretty as Acer circinatum," says the seeker after love.