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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 53

The Fascination Of Bonsai

Charles Ceronio

pp: 70-78


The word bonsai literally means a tree in a container. In Japanese, "bon" means a bowl or pot and "sai" to plant. For most people bonsai are simply miniatures of various kinds of trees in containers and the word is associated with small trees, but bonsai is much more than this. It is the perfection of a slice of nature using the tree as a central theme. A bonsai grower thus strives to capture nature in his creation (Fig. 1).

Looking at it, one should evoke the memory of, for example, a bushveld scene, a forest or poplar grove, a lonely tree on the plains, a tree with roots tumbling over a rock or clinging to a cliff face, or even a clump of trees at the seaside, all blown in the same direction (Figs. 2 and 3).

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