Bonsai and Criterion for Selecting Plants for Bonsai
Bonsai is a fascination art which has thrived in Japan for hundreds of years and has become in integral part of Japanese culture.
The word Bonsai is a combination of two Japanese words Bon (meaning shallow pan) and Sai (meaning plant), which can be translated as “ Tray Planting”. By growing the trees in shallow containers the growth is checked or dwar4fed but the plant is not starved. The great Japanese expert on Bonsai, Kyozo Morata, is on record to have said, “Like a pet animal, it needs, water, sunshine, and nourishment”.
Criterion for Selecting Plants for Bonsai:
Among the various factors that determine the suitability of a plant as a Bonsai the foremost is its hardiness. It should stand the rigours of growing in a shallow container, withstand the operations of pruning of roots, branches and tough training but still manifest itself as a lively replica of normal plants. All Bonsai specimens should have a trunk which looks natural. The growth of such plants should be in harmony with the container where it stands and the branches should also reflect a rhythm consistent with the artistic value. The trees whose trunks are strong and thick at the ground level gibe a good appearance. The plants which show seasonal variations in growth pattern and flowering are greatly favored. For example, some trees which change their leaf color in one season or others bearing fruits in another season, all add color to the collection.
Bombax malabaricum, Callistemon lanceolatus, Ficus religiosa, F. benghalensis, Jacaranda mimodsifolia, kigellia pinnata, Milletia ovalifolia, Punica granatum.
Several conifers can also be grow several conifers can also be grown as bonsai under tropical conditions. These are Juniperus chinensis, J. prostrate.
There are certain shrubs listed below which are also trained as Bonsai: Adenium obesum, Fortunellla japonica, Jatropha podarica and Murraya exotica.