Garden Vocabulary LogoGarden Vocabulary: Palmatum

Today’s Garden Vocabulary is another garden epithet — a descriptive term — usually Latin — that is used as part of a plants name to describe its most defining characteristic. Palmatum means “shaped like the palm of a hand” 1 and is used quite frequently in plant descriptions. This weeks “Interesting Plant” entry is one example — Acer Palmatum, the Japanese Maple. While some varieties exhibit palmatum more than others, almost all of them show leaves that are vaguely palm shaoed, hence the palmatum adjective.

What can you share about this Garden Vocabulary entry? Help educate us all in the comments!


Japanese Maple Leaves
More information on Palmatum:
Plants and seeds from


Previously on Garden Vocabulary:

This Garden Vocabulary series seeks to introduce and explain to you — and in many cases, myself — words and terms associated with gardening. Please let me know if  there are any terms you would like me to explore. You can leave your ideas in the comments section and we can learn together!