Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

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Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

Post  Robert J. Baran on Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:30 am

A kind of fun page I've put together is this gallery of less usual plants as bonsai. http://www.phoenixbonsai.com/BigPicture/LessUsual.html

Enjoy, and please let me know if you have any other candidates.

Thanks.

Robert J. Baran
Bonsai Researcher and Historian

Robert J. Baran
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Re: Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:04 pm

Hi Robert.

The picture of Vaughn Banting with the Coca was taken in Columbia (of all places). I'm thinking that it was the late '80's or maybe early '90's when he made that trip.

Russell

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Re: Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

Post  bonsaistud on Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:56 am

G'day Robert...

How well I remember that Creosote...and helping to unload and reload the many outstanding bonsai from the Phx Bonsai Society for display at ABS'99 in Tucson. I'm the guy who, wearing the cowboy hat, was working the "raffle" tables throughout the Symposium...also drew the honor to give Warren Hill a ride to the airport Saturday night while the auction was in progress...

What a shame that the creosote died on Max...that bonsai had such a wonderful history...and that species is known to have lived more than 11,000 years (as in 11K years)...as I'm certain that you know...it is now on the Arizona endangered species list.

My wife (my super trouper and bonsai buddy, now deceased) and I met you at the Japanese Friendship Park where I picked up a copy of your book...which you signed for me. We returned home, Northern California, 2-1/2 years back, after a 12 year vacation to Southern Arizona...back to family.

Well, Robert, I want to personally thank you for what you are doing, research and writing, for the world of bonsai...bringing the documented history of bonsai to a level that has never been accomplished before. Your work will live forever along with the art and practice of bonsai.

Top drawer my friend...

Pat…mounted on my trusty stead, riding off wildly in all directions…

bonsaistud
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Re: Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

Post  Robert J. Baran on Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:42 pm

Pat,

Thank-you for your thoughts about what we have on our site. While my horticultural skills are a "B-" at best, I hope my contribution to masterpiece bonsai might include an "honorable mention" for my researching and writing.

Just to clarify, I believe some plants within the creosote community/microhabitat are engangered, but not the old greasewood plant itself. A few years back in the Kingman, AZ area I'd take walks in the desert, occasionally sampling those resinous bud tips. Definitely an acquired taste -- but, yes, what a scent after a rainstorm! See a wide-ranging discussion at http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/swest/msg042308511035.html. Non-permitted free-collection is neither legal nor recommended -- for creosote or any plant, of course. Max's creosote bonsai, permit-rescued from a golf course construction site near Phoenix's South Mountain, was wonderful -- I'm attempting to track down a decent copy of the photo of it in bloom.

Ride well.

Robert J. Baran
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Re: Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

Post  Marlon Machado on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:46 pm

Adenium is an unusual bonsai subject, but there are many folks using this species for bonsai (or at least applying bonsai training techniques to their adenium plants). This is specially true of Thailand, where they even have a number of adeniums contests with superb plants being exhibited. Some bonsai-trained adeniums are quite reminiscent of natural trees or arid regions, in special baobab trees:


(picture from http://www.siamadenium.com/)

Check out these YouTube videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yBmFfNun9E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SZ7E-EoX3k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cCwaft-Nm8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a00y0cms4SY

Cheers,

Marlon.

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Re: Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

Post  jrodriguez on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:04 pm

Marlon,

You are right in stating that bonsai tecniques are given to adeniums. In Thailand, as well as Indonesia, they are not considered bonsai. I big events, a separate adenium display area is often included. Also, judging criteria is quite different.

Kind regards,
Jose Luis

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Re: Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:41 pm

they are not considered bonsai.

Looks like a bonsai to me . . . Tree in a pot, and all that.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

Post  Chris Cochrane on Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:03 pm

Hi Robert... For many of us, you lead the field in cultivating bonsai expression. Thanks for initiating comment along another path & eliciting IBC members among contributors..

A significant art collector noted his reason for collecting one artist's work. He had been advised, "Unless the artist is deserving of respect for his character and attitude to life, his works will leave no value for the future." Your "Magical Miniature Landscapes" opus assures that your admirable character, attitude and generosity will be recognized beyond a footnote for bonsai in the late 20th and continuing centuries.

Your listing of "typical bonsai plant material" should not be too long to post, here. What appears on your website seems much too brief, and it is a bit surprising. I imagine it will grow for historically recognized material as well as modern examples.

Here is a reference for two Aronia (chokeberry) bonsai included in the description of a suiseki once owned by a famous industrialist & tea ceremony enthusiast in the Meiji era (source: Jeff Cline, the shop Kagedo, Seattle WA USA):
'FROG IN A WELL'-- Stone plus storage boxes…
Suiseki or scholar's stone of a dense black Kamo river stone in the form of a frog. Meiji era, circa 1880.

With the tomobako or original double box inscribed on the exterior: Kamogawa San Maguro Shitsu Suiseki Kaeru Nirakudo Chinzo or Dense Black Maguro Scholar's Stone from the Kamo River, Treasured Possession of Nirakudo. The interior box made of funeita or wood from old boats and crafted in the form of a well-mouth, edged with black persimmon. The persimmon wood lid inscribed: Suiseki Kaeru or Scholar's Stone in the Form of a Frog. With an inscribed wrapping cloth detailing its history. In mid Meiji it was owned by Arai Naho-o who treasured it and declared it along with his two Aronia and Zelkova bonsai trees as "three superb works of art". When Arai passed away it was acquired by the famous collector and connoisseur Masuda Don'o (1848 – 1938).
3 3/8” high x 5 ½” x 4”

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... visit the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington DC USA-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.com

Chris Cochrane
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Re: Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

Post  bonsainotwar on Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:28 pm

Has anyone tried a yucca?I have one I've been growing a few years as a bonsai.The leaves do get smaller,but I am worried that most of them on my plant have turned brown,and died.It only has a couple of new leaves at the top,much fewer than in previous years.It is probably best to start them as a baby as I did mine in 2002.

How about nightshade?I have a clump I have been growing in a flowerpot for the last two years.It gets nice bark on it.I have just been pinching it back to make it bushy,but have not done any serios training on it.I am hoping the clump will grow together into a single plant.

I had a mango that was coming along nicely,but I lost it after it got hit by cold during a power outage in December.

bonsainotwar
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Re: Less Usual Plants as Bonsai

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