It may have multiple trunks joining close to the ground. In habit , it is often shaped like a hemisphere especially when younger or takes on a dome -like form, especially when mature. The flowers are produced in small cymes , the individual flowers with five red or purple sepals and five whitish petals. The seeds of Acer palmatum and similar species require stratification in order to germinate. Even in nature, Acer palmatum displays considerable genetic variation , with seedlings from the same parent tree typically showing differences in such traits as leaf size, shape, and color.