Acer palmatum Pung kil is a upright cultivar in the linearilobum group of maples – also known as a strap-leaf maple. The name Pung kil [yes, only one L in kil] is ugly in my opinion, but the maple is gorgeous. It has really dark purple bark and skinny dark purple leaves. As this maple ages some of the older bark on the branches can change to a silver color which is also quite attractive. This maple prefers sun, even hot sun and may reach 8′ tall in 10 years. The growth habit is compact, but it can be pruned up to make a small tree rather than the shrub-like maple as shown in the photos. I keep it pruned like a dwarf as it provides good color and texture in this location of my display garden. For more information see Pruning Japanese Maples.
Acer palmatum Pung kil holds the dark purple leaf color through the summer which is stunning and it can handle wind and hot summer days. The string-like leaves change from deep purple to crimson red in the fall. Once established this maple is hardy to -20 degrees – USDA zone 5. The dark purple bark also provides winter interest.
If you love Japanese Maples as much as I do, you can learn more about these amazing trees by joining the Facebook Group – Japanese Maples and Conifers.It is free to join – you just have to be a Facebook member. The contributors to the group have a wealth of experience and post many photos. No question is dumb – you will not be criticized for lack of knowledge, rather you will get a variety of opinions from all over the country. This is what I value the most – learning about variations of growth, leaf size and color in different sections of the USA and around the world. I often participate in the discussions.
The photos show the Pung kil in my display garden.