In my search of different kinds of bonsai trees, I have come across various websites selling blue Japanese maple seeds, usually with an image attached (most likely photo-shopped).

I personally don't believe that they can exist. Can anyone give any validating proof for or against their existence?

Blue Bonsai tree

  • 4
    Nice swapping of green and blue channels on that picture! That maple is so blue that even its moss is blue! =D
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Apr 16, 2017 at 4:23

4 Answers 4


Sorry, but this is definitely not real. I'm including the best short article to explain why we see green, yellow, reds, sorta purples but not blue leaves. There is a plant that while the leaves are young produce a blue pigment (reflects blue light) to protect the new leaves from herbivores and there is ONE fern in the rain forest that is very blue. Cyanobacteria are blue but color varies with different colors of the light spectrum today. They were here 3.5 billion years ago and because of this bacteria, which is still a huge part of life on this planet now, we were able to be here. Otherwise, there would be no Oxygen in the atmosphere. These blue cyanobacteria changed our atmosphere completely, killing off the rest of life where Oxygen was toxic.

Cyanobacteria were the precursors of our green plants today. Chloroplasts evolved to do the photosynthesis necessary to make food and because of them, green light is reflected. Now we see green LEAVES (flowers don't photosynthesize).

This blue Japanese Maple is produced by either a filter on the camera or photo shopped, etc.

So definitely NOT TRUE! I did find Amazon was selling maple seeds which is a joke as there is no way to tell what that seed will turn out phenotypically or genetically. The samaras look dark and people will get fooled.

Great question. I had to actually pull up an old dusty stored in my brain about the light spectrum and what and why we see the colors we do get to see. Which is a very tiny, tiny part of the spectrum of light. blue plants and why

  • Billion years i assume you mean
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 20:50
  • THANK YOU!! Bad bad boo boo. Of course most of us are unable to wrap our little brains around billions and trillions and and and. Thanks for catching that!!!
    – stormy
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 21:33
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    Notice also the moss is also blue, the image is photoshopped for sure. The places using this image and selling "bonsai seeds" are scams, and can be called as such.
    – James K
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 22:33

Proof enough for me that there is no Latin or botanical complete name for the 'blue acer', and the only references on line are sites selling either the plant or seeds for the plant. There are no horticultural references to this plant - nearest is Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost', sometimes described (on sales sites) as Acer Purple Blue Ghost. Anyway, true blue leaved plants don't exist, with one or two exceptions, although some may have a bluish green appearance. In the case of Acers, they don't possess delphinidin (the component that, for instance, enables delphiniums to have blue flowers, and from which the name delphinidin is derived) any more than a rose does; their range of anthocyanins simply doesn't contain the genetic information for blue. I assume the plants pictured are either dyed, or as you said, photo shopped.


Ebay is brilliant for such fakes- I had a collection of strange photos on mostly Chinese sellers posting allsorts of strange photo shopped pictures, often filters on cameras lie- blues never really being blue, but I found this on packets of seed too, often things like purple carrots look a bit iffy too! If you type in roses on ebay and look down the list often seeds of strange varieties pop up that are definitely fake! so buyer beware!


I have seen blue and purple food dye added to orchids to give the flowers different colour so maybe it's the same with the leaves but I have never seen blue or purple maple trees.


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