Abies alba Silver fir.
Abies koreana Korean fir.
Abies lasiocarpa Alpine fir.
Abies lasiocarpa ‘Arizonica’ Cork fir.
Accent plant A separate, often seasonal. planting of grasses. bulbs, or small herbaceous plants displayed with a formal bonsai.
Acer buergerianum Trident maple.
Acer buergerianum ‘Formosanum’ Formosan trident maple.
Acer campestre Field maple.
Acer japonicum Full moon maple.
Acer palamatum ‘Ukigomo’ Japanese maple ‘Ukigomo’.
Acer palmatum Japanese 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 Nishik√≠’.
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 layering Propagation method that encourages roots to form on a tree trunk or branch.
Akadama Japanese granulate clay, used as bonsai soil.
Aka-matsu Pinus densiflora, Japanese red pine.
Akanire Ulmus, Elm.
Apex In bonsai, this usually means the top part of the tree.
Ara-ki Freshly dug tree, suitable as bonsai material.
Azalea See ‘Rhododendron’.


Bankan Trunk with many curves.
Beni-shitan Cotoneaster horizontalis, Cotoneaster.
Berberis Barberry.
Berberis buxifolia Barberry.
Berberis darwinii Barberry.
Berberis thunbergii Barberry.
Betula nana Dwarf birch.
Betula pendula European silver birch.
Boke Chaenomeles cardinalis, Flowering quince.
Bonkei Natural landscapes planted in a dish. (rocks plants, figures etc.)
Bonsai Tree in a shallow pot.
Bougainvillea buttiana Bougainvillea ‘Orange King’.
Bougainvillea glabra Bougainvillea.
Buna Fagus, Beech.
Bunjin or Bunjingi; Bonsai in literati style.
Buxus microphylla Japanese box tree.
Buxus sempervirens Common box tree.


Calluna vulgaris Heather
Callus Corky-textured tissue that forms over a wound on a branch.
Cambium Narrow layer of cell tissue between the bark and wood of woody plants. The cambium of live wood is green and moist.
Camellia japonica Common camellia.
Caragana arborescens Chinese pea tree.
Carmona microphylla Fukien tea; subtropical species.
Carpinus betulus European hornbeam.
Carpinus japonica Japanese hornbeam.
Carpinus laxiflora Loose flowered hornbeam.
Carpinus turczaninowii Korean hornbeam.
Castanea Chesnut.
Cedrus Cedar.
Cedrus atlantica Atlas cedar.
Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’ Blue cedar.
Cedrus brevifolia Cyprian cedar.
Cedrus deodora Indian cedar.
Cedrus libani Lebanon cedar.
Celtis sinensis Chinese hackberry.
Cercis canadensis American redbud.
Cercis siliquastrum Judas tree.
Chaenomeles cardinalis Flowering quince.
Chaenomeles japonica Japanese quince.
Chaenomeles sinensis Chinese quince.
Chamaecyparis obtusa Hinoki cypress.
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’ Dwarf hinoki cypress.
Chojubai Chaenomeles japonica, Japanese quince.
Chokkan Bonsai with upright trunk.
Conifer A tree that bears cones containing the seeds. Most conifers are evergreen.
Cornus controversa Cherry.
Cornus kousa Kousa dogwood.
Cornus officinalis Japanese cornelian cherry.
Corylopsis pauciflora Buttercup winter hazel.
Corylopsis spicata Spiked winter hazel.
Corylus avellana Hazel.
Corylus heterophylla Japanese hazel.
Cotinus coggygria Smoke tree.
Cotoneaster congestus Dwarf cotoneaster.
Cotoneaster horizontalis Rockspray cotoneaster.
Cotoneaster microfhyllus Cotoneaster.
Crataegus cuneata Japanese hawthorn.
Crataegus laevigata English hawthorn.
Crown The upper part of the tree where the branches spread out from the trunk.
Cryptomeria japonica Japanese dwarf cedar.
Cultivar Variant plant produced in cultivation: indicated by single quotation marks in its botanical name.
Cut paste See ‘wound sealant’.
Cydonia oblonga Common quince.


Dai Wooden table fitting a suiseki stone.
Deciduous Describing a tree or shrub that loses its leaves annually and often remains bare of leaves all winter.
Deshojo Acer palmatum deshojo, Japanese red maple.
Deutzia gracilis Duetzia.
Die back The death of young shoots. due to bad weather or fungal disease.


Eda-zashi Branch pruning.
Elaeagnus multiflora Elaeagnus.
Elaeagnus pungens Thorny elaeagnus.
Euonymus alatus Winged spindle tree.
Euonymus europaeus European spindle tree.
Euonymus sieboldianus Japanese spindle tree.
Evergreen Describing a tree or shrub that retains its leaves all year round.
Ezo-matsu Picea, Spruce.


Fagus crenata Japanese white beech.
Fagus japonica Japanese black beech.
Fagus sylvatica European beech.
Ficus benjamina Weeping fig.
Ficus macrophylla Moreton Bay fig.
Ficus platypoda Australian fig.
Ficus punila Creeping fig.
Ficus retusa Banyan fig.
Forsythia intermedia Forsythia.
Fortunella hindsii Dwarf orange.
Fraxinus excelsior European ash.
Fuchsia microphylla Dwarf fuchsia.
Fuji Wisteria floribunda, Japanese wisteria.
Fuji-sakura Japanese flowering cherry.
Fukinagashi Bonsai in windswept style.


Gardenia Gardenia.
Genus The unit of classification for a group of closely related plants: shown by the first word in the botanical name.
Ginkgo biloba Maidenhair tree.
Goyo-matsu Pinus parviflora, Japanese white pine.
Grafting Propagation technique.


Habit The characteristic growth pattern of a plant.
Hamamelis japonica Japanese witch hazel.
Hankan Bonsai with a very coiled trunk.
Han-kengai Bonsai in semi-cascading style.
Hardy Describing plants that are able to withstand winter frost.
Hariganekake Wiring a tree.
Hedera helix Common Ivy.
Himeringo Apple.
Hinoki Chamaecyparis obtusa, Hinoki cypress.
Hokidachi Bonsai in broom style.
Hyakujikko Lagerstroemia indica, Crab myrtle.


Ichii Taxus, Yew.
Icho Ginkgo, Maidenhair tree.
Ikadabuke Bonsai in raft style.
Ilex crenata Japenese evergreen holly.
Ilex serrata Japanese deciduous holly.
Internodal distance The length of stem between two nodes (leaf joints).
Ishitsuki Rock grown bonsai.


Jasminum nudiflorum Winter jasmine.
Jasminum officinale Common white jasmine.
Jin Or Eda-jin; artificially bleached branch.
Juniperus chinensis Chinese juniper.
Juniperus communis Common juniper.
Juniperus media ‘Blaauwii’ Chinese juniper.
Juniperus procumbens Creeping juniper.
Juniperus rigida Needle juniper.
Juniperus sabina Savin juniper.
Juniperus sargentii Sargent’s juniper.
Juniperus squamata ‘Meyeri’ Blue juniper.
Juvenile foliage Young leaves of a tree that has distinclly different adult foliage.


Kabudachi Clump-style bonsai; several trunks from a single root.
Kadsura japonica Scarlet kadsura.
Kaede Acer buergerianum, Trident maple.
Kaido Malus, Crab apple.
Kanju Deciduous trees.
Kanuma Soil for azaleas.
Karikomi Pruning of leaves and branches.
Karin Chaenomeles sinensis, Chinese quince.
Kengai Bonsai in cascading style.
Keto-tsuchi See ‘peat’.
Keyaki Zelkova, Japanese elm.
Kiryu Japanese rocky granulates, used for drainage in bonsai soil.
Kobushi Magnolia stellata, Star magnolia.
Kokejun Trunk that tapers towards the top.
Kuchinashi Gardenia, Gardenia.
Kuro-matsu Pinus thunbergii, Japanese black pine.
Kuruma-eda Unsuitable branch that must be cut off.
Kusamono See ‘accent plant’.


Lagerstroemia indica Crab myrtle.
Larix decidua European larch.
Larix kaemperferi Japanese larch.
Leader Generally, the main shoot, at the tip of a branch, that extends the branch growth: in bonsai, usually the uppermost continuation of the trunk.
Ligustrum ovalifolium Oval-leaf privet.
Ligustrum vulgare Common privet.
Liquidambar styraciflua Sweet gum.
Lonicera japonica Japanese honeysuckle.
Lonicera morowii Honeysuckle.
Lonicera nitida Dwarf honeysuckle.


Magnolia stellata Star magnolia.
Malus cerasifera Nagasaki crab apple.
Malus halliana Hall’s crab apple.
Malus sieboldii Crab apple.
Malus sylvestris Common crab apple.
Mame bonsai Bonsai less then 10cm tall.
Mansaku Coriylus heterophylla, Japanese witch hazel.
Mayumi Euonymus sieboldianus, Japanese spindle tree.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides Dawn redwood.
Mizuki Cornus controversa, Cherry.
Momiji Acer palmatum, Japanese maple.
Morus alba White mulberry.
Moyogi Bonsai in unformal upright style.
Murraya paniculata Jasmine orange.
Myrtus apiculata Myrtle.
Myrtus communis Common myrtle.


Nandina domestica Heavenly bamboo.
Natsutsubaki Stewartia, Stewartia.
Neagari Bonsai with exposed roots.
Nebari Shape of the visible roots.
Nejikan Bonsai with twisted trunk.
Netsuranari Bonsai style with several trees growing from a single root.
Nishiki-matsu Pinus thunbergii corticosa, Corkbark pine.
Nitrogen Also known as (N); Essential element of plant nutrition: for growth above the ground, especially green tissue in leaves and stems.
Notofagus antarctica Antarctic beech.
Notofagus procera Southern beech.
NPK Abbreviation used to denote the relative proportions of the minerals nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) contained in a fertilizer.


Obai Jasminum nudiflorum, Winter jasmine.
Olea europaea Olive.


Parthenocissus tricupidata Boston Ivy.
Peat Partly decomposed organic matter, found in bogs, marshes or heaths. It helps to retain moisture in potting soil.
Phosphorus Also known as (P); Essential element of plant nutrition: for root development and ripening of fruits and seeds.
Phyllostachys Golden bamboo.
Phyllostachys nigra Black bamboo.
Picea abies Norway spruce.
Picea abies ‘Little gem’ Dwarf spruce.
Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’ Bird’s nest spruce.
Picea glehnii Sakhalin spruce.
Picea glehnii ‘Yatsubusa’ Dwarf sakhalin spruce.
Picea jezoensis Jezo or edo spruce.
Pinching Training or shaping a tree by gently pulling off soft new shoots with finger and thumb.
Pinus densiflora Japanese red pine.
Pinus mugo Mountain pine.
Pinus parviflora Japanese white or five needle pine.
Pinus pentaphylla See ‘Pinus parviflora’.
Pinus sylvestris Scots pine.
Pinus thunbergii Japanese black pine.
Pinus thunbergii ‘Corticosa’ Corkbark japanese black pine.
Podocarpus macrophyllus Chinese podocarpus.
Pot bound Describing a plant when its roots fill its pot and eliminate all air spaces.
Potassium Also 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 fructicosa Potentilla.
Pruning Cutting or pinching back shoots, leaves. and stems in order to control growth and to shape the plant.
Prunus avium Japanese wild cherry.
Prunus cerasifera Myrobalan plum.
Prunus dulcis Elmond.
Prunus mume Flowering apricot.
Prunus persica Peach.
Prunus salicina Japanese plum.
Prunus serrulata Flowering cherry.
Prunus spinosa Blackthorn.
Pseudosidonia sinensis See ‘Chaenomeles sinensis’.
Punica granatum Pomegranate.
Pyracantha Firethorn.
Pyrus pyrifolia Japanese pear.


Quercus cerris Turkey oak.
Quercus palustris Pin oak.
Quercus robur English oak.


Repotting Regularly removing a plant from its pot. usually every year or so and replanting in fresh soil to encourage root growth.
Rhododendron indicum Satsuki azalea.
Robinia pseudoacacia False acacia.
Root pruning Cutting back roots of a pot-bound plant to add fresh soil and encourage growth of new-roots.
Rootball The mass of roots and soil seen when plant is lifted from container or ground.


Saba miki Hollow trunk.
Sabamiki Bonsai with split trunk.
Sageretia theezans Sageretia.
Sahi-ho Cutting.
Sahi-ki Propagating by means of cuttings.
Saikei Landscapes with rocks and trees.
Salix babylonica Weeping willow.
Salix helvetica Swiss willow.
Salix repens Creeping willow.
Sankan Triple-trunked bonsai.
Satsuki Rhododendron indicum, Satsuki azalea.
Scorch Foliage damage from strong sun or wind. or root damage from fertilizer overdose.
Seigen Acer palmatum ‘Seigen’, Japanese red maple.
Seishi Bonsai training.
Sequoia sempervirens California redwood.
Serissa foetida Tree of a tousand stars.
Shakan Bonsai with slanting trunk.
Shari Artificial dead wood parts on the trunk.
Sharimiki Driftwood style.
Shimotsuke Spiraea japonica, Japanese spiraea.
Shinpaku Juniperus sinensis, Chinese juniper.
Shobyaku Berberis, Barberry.
Shohaku Coniferious trees.
Shohin-bonsai Bonsai no more than 15cm tall.
Sokan Twin trunked bonsai.
Sophora japonica Japanese pagoda tree.
Sorbus aucuparia Mountain ash.
Soro Carpinus japonica, Japanese hornbeam.
Species Unit of classification for a plant that has particular characteristics: identified by the second word of its botanical name.
Sphagnum moss Highly water-absorbent moss native to damp locations: used in air layering or to keep large wounds moist.
Spiraea japonica Japanese spiraea.
Stewartia Stewartia.
Stratification Encouraging tree seeds to germinate by dispersing them in sand and subjecting them to cold conditions before sowing.
Styrax japonica Snowbell.
Sugi Cedrus, Japanese cedar.
Suiban Shallow dish without a drainage hole.
Suiseki Viewing stone.
Syringa velutina Korean lilac.


Tachia-gari Trunk region.
Tachinbana-modoki Pyracantha, Firethorn.
Take Bamboo.
Tamarix juniperina Tamarisk.
Tanuki Technique where a tree is planted against the trunk of another dead tree.
Tap root A long. Anchoring root that grows vertically downwards in the soil: often, the first undivided root of a seedling.
Taxodium distichum Swamp cypress.
Taxus baccata Common yew.
Taxus cuspidata Japanese yew.
Tender Describing a plant that cannot withstand frost and may die if kept outdoors in the cold.
Thymus serpyllum Thyme.
Tilia cordata Small leaved lime.
Tokoname A region in Japan that is a major centre for the manufacture and export of containers for bonsai.
Tokonoma A niche or alcove built into a wall of a japanese house to display floral arrangements or bonsai.
Toriki Technique of obtaining bonsai by airlayering.
Tosho Juniperus rigida, Needle juniper.
Tsubaki Camellia japonica, Common camellia.
Tsuga canadensis Eastern hemlock.
Tsuga heterophylla Western hemlock.
Tsuge Buxus, Box tree.
Tsugi-ki Technique of obtaining bonsai by crafting.


Ulmus glabra Scots elm.
Ulmus parvifolia Chinese elm.
Ulmus procera English elm.
Ume Prunus mume, Japanese flowering apricot.
Umemodoki Ilex serrata, Japanese deciduous holly.


Vitis vinifera Grape vine.


Weigela florida Weigela.
Wisteria chinensis Chinese wisteria.
Wisteria floribunda Japanese wisteria.
Wound sealant A compound that seals a cut in a branch or a trunk: it prevents sap bleeding and loss of moisture, and thus promotes healing.


Yamadori Collecting bonsai from the wild.
Yama-sakura Prunus avium, Japanese wild cherry.
Yanagi Salix babylonica, Weeping willow.
Yatsubusa A particular type of dwarf form. with shorter intenodal distances and more buds than usual, and thus denser top-growth.
Yose-Ue Forest planting or multiple tree style.


Zakuro Punica granatum, Pomegranate.
Zelkova serrata Japanese elm.