The Ukurundu maple has a spreading, multi-stemmed, shrubby habit with layers of yellowish, finely hairy branches curving upwards and outwards. Gradually the bark on the branches changes to cinnamon brown and exfoliates in strips. In spring it flowers after leaf break with creamy white panicles; autumn colour varies from salmon-pink through orange-brown to violet.
Growing in the wild among the higher shrub layers of conifer forests, this maple is quite happy in shade. It is native to Japan and north-east Asia. In Finland, it can be mistaken for its American relative, mountain maple (A. spicatum). The latter has similar flower panicles but its leaves usually have only 3 lobes, compared with the 5 lobes of the Ukurundu, and mountain maple leaves are less hairy on their undersides. Also, mountain maple does not develop exfoliating bark, remaining smooth even when older.
Both these maples are extremely winter hardy, given suitable provenances, though there have been more problems growing the Ukurundu, at least at Mustila.