Satsuki Bonsai Exhibition in Tokyo Jindai Botanical Gardens
Bonsai (盆栽, lit. ’tray planting’) is the Japanese and East Asian art of growing and training miniature trees in containers, developed from the traditional Chinese art form of penjing (盆景).
Penjing and bonsai differ in that the former attempts to display “wilder,” more naturalistic scenes, often representing landscapes, including elements such as water, rocks, or figurines.
On the other hand, bonsai typically focuses on a single tree or a group of trees of the same species, with a higher level of aesthetic refinement.
Similar versions of the art exist in other cultures, including the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese Hòn non bộ. During the Tang dynasty, when penjing was at its height, the art was first introduced in China.
Satsuki azaleas have a diverse range of flower forms and color patterns with multiple patterns often appearing on a single plant. Satsuki bloom from May to June.
The name “Satsuki” in Japanese is reference to their blooming period, the fifth month of the Asian lunar calendar. They are commonly used as a subject in bonsai and many bonsai enthusiasts and shows are dedicated solely to them.
There are thousands of different varieties, but some popular ones are Chinzan, Kaho, Gyoten, Osakasuki, Eikan, Nikko, Hakurei, Hakurin, Kinsai, and many more.