Saturday, March 7, 2009

Question for the Hive Mind: Bonsai flower

Last week was New Plants Week: a new batch of tropicals came in, including some of the most awesome Anthuriums you've ever seen (which will be a separate post later), and among them were some 4" bonsai plants. No IDs on them, unfortunately, but one of them had this lovely flower:


It looked a little goofy on the plant. Bonsai is supposed to be all about creating the illusion of a radically scaled-down tree, and if the tree in question was your standard 20-30 foot (6-9 m) tree, then the flower, proportionately, would have been a completely unrealistic five or six feet (1.5-1.8 m) across. Fortunately, this doesn't seem to have bothered anybody, because it sold within three hours of getting it tagged and put out in the greenhouse.

Anyway. So the overall plant is pictured below. Anybody know what it is?


UPDATE: The plant has been identified by Sheila Peterson in the comments as Grewia occidentalis.


6 comments:

Sheila said...

This is grewia occidentalis or the common name is Lavender Starflower. It seems to be a favorite for pruning into dense shapes. I have it in my yard and it was clipped into a tidy hedge. Unfortunately when it is trimmed you will loose the sweet little flowers. I didn't even realize it had them for about a year!

mr_subjunctive said...

Huh. Not only had I not seen the flowers before, I'd never even heard of the plant. Thanks, Sheila.

Name said...

thats not a bonsai

mr_subjunctive said...

It's at least as much of a bonsai as "Name" is a name.

Ali said...

very pretty, hey do you have any suggestions for a bonsai to keep at my office? i basically have no natural light, just the florescent light bulbs

mr_subjunctive said...

I don't think I'd try growing a bonsai in an office-type setting. They all need pretty good light, and some of them are particular as to temperature, too. Depending on how many lights you had and how close to the plant you could get them, a Ficus benjamina might work -- there are some varieties with very small leaves (like 'Too Little,' e.g.). But I wouldn't expect that to work under most office conditions.