Bonsai Today

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Abies albaSilver fir.
Abies koreanaKorean fir.
Abies lasiocarpaAlpine fir.
Abies lasiocarpa ‘Arizonica’Cork fir.
Accent plantA separate, often seasonal. planting of grasses. bulbs, or small herbaceous plants displayed with a formal bonsai.
Acer buergerianumTrident maple.
Acer buergerianum ‘Formosanum’Formosan trident maple.
Acer campestreField maple.
Acer japonicumFull moon maple.
Acer palamatum ‘Ukigomo’Japanese maple ‘Ukigomo’.
Acer palmatumJapanese maple.
Acer palmatum ‘Chishio’Japanese red maple.
Acer palmatum ‘Deshojo’Japanese red maple.
Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum’Cut leaf Japanese maple.
Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’Cut leaf Japanese purple maple.
Acer palmatum ‘Kagiri Nishiki’Japanese maple ‘Kagiri Nishikí’.
Acer palmatum ‘Kashima’Japanese maple ‘Kashima’.
Acer palmatum ‘Kiyohime’Japanese maple ‘Kiyohime’.
Acer palmatum ‘Kotohime’Japanese maple ‘Kotohime’.
Acer palmatum ‘Nishiki gawa’Japanese maple ‘Nishiki gawa’.
Acer palmatum ‘Seigen’Japanese red maple.
Air layeringPropagation method that encourages roots to form on a tree trunk or branch.
AkadamaJapanese granulate clay, used as bonsai soil.
Aka-matsuPinus densiflora, Japanese red pine.
AkanireUlmus, Elm.
ApexIn bonsai, this usually means the top part of the tree.
Ara-kiFreshly dug tree, suitable as bonsai material.
AzaleaSee ‘Rhododendron’.


BankanTrunk with many curves.
Beni-shitanCotoneaster horizontalis, Cotoneaster.
Berberis buxifoliaBarberry.
Berberis darwiniiBarberry.
Berberis thunbergiiBarberry.
Betula nanaDwarf birch.
Betula pendulaEuropean silver birch.
BokeChaenomeles cardinalis, Flowering quince.
BonkeiNatural landscapes planted in a dish. (rocks plants, figures etc.)
BonsaiTree in a shallow pot.
Bougainvillea buttianaBougainvillea ‘Orange King’.
Bougainvillea glabraBougainvillea.
BunaFagus, Beech.
Bunjinor Bunjingi; Bonsai in literati style.
Buxus microphyllaJapanese box tree.
Buxus sempervirensCommon box tree.


Calluna vulgarisHeather
CallusCorky-textured tissue that forms over a wound on a branch.
CambiumNarrow layer of cell tissue between the bark and wood of woody plants. The cambium of live wood is green and moist.
Camellia japonicaCommon camellia.
Caragana arborescensChinese pea tree.
Carmona microphyllaFukien tea; subtropical species.
Carpinus betulusEuropean hornbeam.
Carpinus japonicaJapanese hornbeam.
Carpinus laxifloraLoose flowered hornbeam.
Carpinus turczaninowiiKorean hornbeam.
Cedrus atlanticaAtlas cedar.
Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’Blue cedar.
Cedrus brevifoliaCyprian cedar.
Cedrus deodoraIndian cedar.
Cedrus libaniLebanon cedar.
Celtis sinensisChinese hackberry.
Cercis canadensisAmerican redbud.
Cercis siliquastrumJudas tree.
Chaenomeles cardinalisFlowering quince.
Chaenomeles japonicaJapanese quince.
Chaenomeles sinensisChinese quince.
Chamaecyparis obtusaHinoki cypress.
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’Dwarf hinoki cypress.
ChojubaiChaenomeles japonica, Japanese quince.
ChokkanBonsai with upright trunk.
ChuhinBonsai up to 45 cm
ConiferA tree that bears cones containing the seeds. Most conifers are evergreen.
Cornus controversaCherry.
Cornus kousaKousa dogwood.
Cornus officinalisJapanese cornelian cherry.
Corylopsis paucifloraButtercup winter hazel.
Corylopsis spicataSpiked winter hazel.
Corylus avellanaHazel.
Corylus heterophyllaJapanese hazel.
Cotinus coggygriaSmoke tree.
Cotoneaster congestusDwarf cotoneaster.
Cotoneaster horizontalisRockspray cotoneaster.
Cotoneaster microfhyllusCotoneaster.
Crataegus cuneataJapanese hawthorn.
Crataegus laevigataEnglish hawthorn.
CrownThe upper part of the tree where the branches spread out from the trunk.
Cryptomeria japonicaJapanese dwarf cedar.
CultivarVariant plant produced in cultivation: indicated by single quotation marks in its botanical name.
Cut pasteSee ‘wound sealant’.
Cydonia oblongaCommon quince.


DaiWooden table fitting a suiseki stone.
DeciduousDescribing a tree or shrub that loses its leaves annually and often remains bare of leaves all winter.
DeshojoAcer palmatum deshojo, Japanese red maple.
Deutzia gracilisDuetzia.
Die backThe death of young shoots. due to bad weather or fungal disease.


Eda-zashiBranch pruning.
Elaeagnus multifloraElaeagnus.
Elaeagnus pungensThorny elaeagnus.
Euonymus alatusWinged spindle tree.
Euonymus europaeusEuropean spindle tree.
Euonymus sieboldianusJapanese spindle tree.
EvergreenDescribing a tree or shrub that retains its leaves all year round.
Ezo-matsuPicea, Spruce.


Fagus crenataJapanese white beech.
Fagus japonicaJapanese black beech.
Fagus sylvaticaEuropean beech.
Ficus benjaminaWeeping fig.
Ficus macrophyllaMoreton Bay fig.
Ficus platypodaAustralian fig.
Ficus punilaCreeping fig.
Ficus retusaBanyan fig.
Forsythia intermediaForsythia.
Fortunella hindsiiDwarf orange.
Fraxinus excelsiorEuropean ash.
Fuchsia microphyllaDwarf fuchsia.
FujiWisteria floribunda, Japanese wisteria.
Fuji-sakuraJapanese flowering cherry.
FukinagashiBonsai in windswept style.


GenusThe unit of classification for a group of closely related plants: shown by the first word in the botanical name.
Ginkgo bilobaMaidenhair tree.
Goyo-matsuPinus parviflora, Japanese white pine.
GraftingPropagation technique.


HabitThe characteristic growth pattern of a plant.
Hamamelis japonicaJapanese witch hazel.
HankanBonsai with a very coiled trunk.
Han-kengaiBonsai in semi-cascading style.
HardyDescribing plants that are able to withstand winter frost.
HariganekakeWiring a tree.
Hedera helixCommon Ivy.
HinokiChamaecyparis obtusa, Hinoki cypress.
HokidachiBonsai in broom style.
HyakujikkoLagerstroemia indica, Crab myrtle.


IchiiTaxus, Yew.
IchoGinkgo, Maidenhair tree.
IkadabukeBonsai in raft style.
Ilex crenataJapenese evergreen holly.
Ilex serrataJapanese deciduous holly.
Internodal distanceThe length of stem between two nodes (leaf joints).
IshitsukiRock grown bonsai.


Jasminum nudiflorumWinter jasmine.
Jasminum officinaleCommon white jasmine.
JinOr Eda-jin; artificially bleached branch.
Juniperus chinensisChinese juniper.
Juniperus communisCommon juniper.
Juniperus media ‘Blaauwii’Chinese juniper.
Juniperus procumbensCreeping juniper.
Juniperus rigidaNeedle juniper.
Juniperus sabinaSavin juniper.
Juniperus sargentiiSargent’s juniper.
Juniperus squamata ‘Meyeri’Blue juniper.
Juvenile foliageYoung leaves of a tree that has distinclly different adult foliage.


KabudachiClump-style bonsai; several trunks from a single root.
Kadsura japonicaScarlet kadsura.
KaedeAcer buergerianum, Trident maple.
KaidoMalus, Crab apple.
KanjuDeciduous trees.
KanumaSoil for azaleas.
KarikomiPruning of leaves and branches.
KarinChaenomeles sinensis, Chinese quince.
KengaiBonsai in cascading style.
Keto-tsuchiSee ‘peat’.
KeyakiZelkova, Japanese elm.
KifuBonsai up to 35 cm.
KiryuJapanese rocky granulates, used for drainage in bonsai soil.
KobushiMagnolia stellata, Star magnolia.
KokejunTrunk that tapers towards the top.
KuchinashiGardenia, Gardenia.
Kuro-matsuPinus thunbergii, Japanese black pine.
Kuruma-edaUnsuitable branch that must be cut off.
KusamonoSee ‘accent plant’.


Lagerstroemia indicaCrab myrtle.
Larix deciduaEuropean larch.
Larix kaemperferiJapanese larch.
LeaderGenerally, the main shoot, at the tip of a branch, that extends the branch growth: in bonsai, usually the uppermost continuation of the trunk.
Ligustrum ovalifoliumOval-leaf privet.
Ligustrum vulgareCommon privet.
Liquidambar styracifluaSweet gum.
Lonicera japonicaJapanese honeysuckle.
Lonicera morowiiHoneysuckle.
Lonicera nitidaDwarf honeysuckle.


Magnolia stellataStar magnolia.
Malus cerasiferaNagasaki crab apple.
Malus hallianaHall’s crab apple.
Malus sieboldiiCrab apple.
Malus sylvestrisCommon crab apple.
MameBonsai up to 10 cm.
MansakuCoriylus heterophylla, Japanese witch hazel.
MayumiEuonymus sieboldianus, Japanese spindle tree.
Metasequoia glyptostroboidesDawn redwood.
MizukiCornus controversa, Cherry.
MomijiAcer palmatum, Japanese maple.
Morus albaWhite mulberry.
MoyogiBonsai in unformal upright style.
Murraya paniculataJasmine orange.
Myrtus apiculataMyrtle.
Myrtus communisCommon myrtle.


Nandina domesticaHeavenly bamboo.
NatsutsubakiStewartia, Stewartia.
NeagariBonsai with exposed roots.
NebariShape of the visible roots.
NejikanBonsai with twisted trunk.
NetsuranariBonsai style with several trees growing from a single root.
Nishiki-matsuPinus thunbergii corticosa, Corkbark pine.
NitrogenAlso known as (N); Essential element of plant nutrition: for growth above the ground, especially green tissue in leaves and stems.
Notofagus antarcticaAntarctic beech.
Notofagus proceraSouthern beech.
NPKAbbreviation used to denote the relative proportions of the minerals nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) contained in a fertilizer.


ObaiJasminum nudiflorum, Winter jasmine.
Olea europaeaOlive.


Parthenocissus tricupidataBoston Ivy.
PeatPartly decomposed organic matter, found in bogs, marshes or heaths. It helps to retain moisture in potting soil.
PhosphorusAlso known as (P); Essential element of plant nutrition: for root development and ripening of fruits and seeds.
PhyllostachysGolden bamboo.
Phyllostachys nigraBlack bamboo.
Picea abiesNorway spruce.
Picea abies ‘Little gem’Dwarf spruce.
Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’Bird’s nest spruce.
Picea glehniiSakhalin spruce.
Picea glehnii ‘Yatsubusa’Dwarf sakhalin spruce.
Picea jezoensisJezo or edo spruce.
PinchingTraining or shaping a tree by gently pulling off soft new shoots with finger and thumb.
Pinus densifloraJapanese red pine.
Pinus mugoMountain pine.
Pinus parvifloraJapanese white or five needle pine.
Pinus pentaphyllaSee ‘Pinus parviflora’.
Pinus sylvestrisScots pine.
Pinus thunbergiiJapanese black pine.
Pinus thunbergii ‘Corticosa’Corkbark japanese black pine.
Podocarpus macrophyllusChinese podocarpus.
Pot boundDescribing a plant when its roots fill its pot and eliminate all air spaces.
PotassiumAlso known as (K) Essential element of plant nutrition: for strong new growth, flower buds. and fruit. In horticulture, it is commonly known as potash.
Potentilla fructicosaPotentilla.
PruningCutting or pinching back shoots, leaves. and stems in order to control growth and to shape the plant.
Prunus aviumJapanese wild cherry.
Prunus cerasiferaMyrobalan plum.
Prunus dulcisElmond.
Prunus mumeFlowering apricot.
Prunus persicaPeach.
Prunus salicinaJapanese plum.
Prunus serrulataFlowering cherry.
Prunus spinosaBlackthorn.
Pseudosidonia sinensisSee ‘Chaenomeles sinensis’.
Punica granatumPomegranate.
Pyrus pyrifoliaJapanese pear.


Quercus cerrisTurkey oak.
Quercus palustrisPin oak.
Quercus roburEnglish oak.


RepottingRegularly removing a plant from its pot. usually every year or so and replanting in fresh soil to encourage root growth.
Rhododendron indicumSatsuki azalea.
Robinia pseudoacaciaFalse acacia.
Root pruningCutting back roots of a pot-bound plant to add fresh soil and encourage growth of new-roots.
RootballThe mass of roots and soil seen when plant is lifted from container or ground.


Saba mikiHollow trunk.
SabamikiBonsai with split trunk.
Sageretia theezansSageretia.
Sahi-kiPropagating by means of cuttings.
SaikeiLandscapes with rocks and trees.
Salix babylonicaWeeping willow.
Salix helveticaSwiss willow.
Salix repensCreeping willow.
SankanTriple-trunked bonsai.
SatsukiRhododendron indicum, Satsuki azalea.
ScorchFoliage damage from strong sun or wind. or root damage from fertilizer overdose.
SeigenAcer palmatum ‘Seigen’, Japanese red maple.
SeishiBonsai training.
Sequoia sempervirensCalifornia redwood.
Serissa foetidaTree of a tousand stars.
ShakanBonsai with slanting trunk.
ShariArtificial dead wood parts on the trunk.
SharimikiDriftwood style.
ShimotsukeSpiraea japonica, Japanese spiraea.
ShinpakuJuniperus sinensis, Chinese juniper.
ShobyakuBerberis, Barberry.
ShohakuConiferious trees.
ShohinBonsai up to 25 cm.
SokanTwin trunked bonsai.
Sophora japonicaJapanese pagoda tree.
Sorbus aucupariaMountain ash.
SoroCarpinus japonica, Japanese hornbeam.
SpeciesUnit of classification for a plant that has particular characteristics: identified by the second word of its botanical name.
Sphagnum mossHighly water-absorbent moss native to damp locations: used in air layering or to keep large wounds moist.
Spiraea japonicaJapanese spiraea.
StratificationEncouraging tree seeds to germinate by dispersing them in sand and subjecting them to cold conditions before sowing.
Styrax japonicaSnowbell.
SugiCedrus, Japanese cedar.
SuibanShallow dish without a drainage hole.
SuisekiViewing stone.
Syringa velutinaKorean lilac.


Tachia-gariTrunk region.
Tachinbana-modokiPyracantha, Firethorn.
Tamarix juniperinaTamarisk.
TanukiTechnique where a tree is planted against the trunk of another dead tree.
Tap rootA long. Anchoring root that grows vertically downwards in the soil: often, the first undivided root of a seedling.
Taxodium distichumSwamp cypress.
Taxus baccataCommon yew.
Taxus cuspidataJapanese yew.
TenderDescribing a plant that cannot withstand frost and may die if kept outdoors in the cold.
Thymus serpyllumThyme.
Tilia cordataSmall leaved lime.
TokonameA region in Japan that is a major centre for the manufacture and export of containers for bonsai.
TokonomaA niche or alcove built into a wall of a japanese house to display floral arrangements or bonsai.
TorikiTechnique of obtaining bonsai by airlayering.
ToshoJuniperus rigida, Needle juniper.
TsubakiCamellia japonica, Common camellia.
Tsuga canadensisEastern hemlock.
Tsuga heterophyllaWestern hemlock.
TsugeBuxus, Box tree.
Tsugi-kiTechnique of obtaining bonsai by crafting.


Ulmus glabraScots elm.
Ulmus parvifoliaChinese elm.
Ulmus proceraEnglish elm.
UmePrunus mume, Japanese flowering apricot.
UmemodokiIlex serrata, Japanese deciduous holly.


Vitis viniferaGrape vine.


Weigela floridaWeigela.
Wisteria chinensisChinese wisteria.
Wisteria floribundaJapanese wisteria.
Wound sealantA compound that seals a cut in a branch or a trunk: it prevents sap bleeding and loss of moisture, and thus promotes healing.


YamadoriCollecting bonsai from the wild.
Yama-sakuraPrunus avium, Japanese wild cherry.
YanagiSalix babylonica, Weeping willow.
YatsubusaA particular type of dwarf form. with shorter intenodal distances and more buds than usual, and thus denser top-growth.
Yose-UeForest planting or multiple tree style.


ZakuroPunica granatum, Pomegranate.
Zelkova serrataJapanese elm.

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