ALL  PLANTS  USED  AS  BONSAI,
PENJING,  AND  IN  RELATED  ARTS  --  A  TAXONOMIC  ANALYSIS


compiled by Robert J. Baran


This Page Last Updated: December 13, 2015



(General notes at page bottom)

 
Index by Family
Anthophyta
Cycadophyta
Pinophyta
Pteridophyta
Notes
Magnoliophyta - Rosidae I
Magnoliophyta - Asteridae
Magnoliophyta - Caryophyllidae
Magnoliophyta - Dilleniidae
Magnoliophyta - Hamamelididae
Magnoliophyta - Magnoliidae
Magnoliophyta - Ranunculidae
Magnoliophyta - Rosidae II


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Division      Anthophyta    :    Ovary-enclosed-seeded flowering plants whose embryos possess only one (monocot) leaf-like structure called a cotyledon
----- Class      Liliopsida
---------- Subclass      Alismatidae
--------------- Order      Alismatales
-------------------- Family      Aracae, the coontie family
------------------------- Genus      Alocasia (Caladium, Colocasia)
------------------------------ Species     cucullata (Lour.) Schott  (rugosa)  # highly toxic #        Chinese taro or ape / Buddha's hand / Hooded dwarf elephant ear
---------- Subclass      Arecidae
--------------- Order      Arecales
-------------------- Family      Areceae, the arum family   EndoMycorrhizal
------------------------- Genus      Butia
------------------------------ Species     capitata (Mart.) Becc.  (bonnettii)        Pindo or Jelly palm
------------------------- Genus      Chamaedorea (Nunnezharoa)
------------------------------ Species     elegans Mart.  (deppeana, elegantissima, helleriana, humilis, lindeniana, martiana, pulchella)       Parlor or Neanthe bella palm / Miniature fish tail dwarf or Good luck palm / Collinia / Pacaya / Pacayito / Xate / Kiik / Tepejilote / Palma camedor / Palmita camedor / Palma fina / Pesmilla / Palmilla de hojas / Angostas / Tutchast
------------------------- Genus      Chamaerops
------------------------------ Species     humilis L.       Dwarf or European or Mediterranean fan palm
------------------------- Genus      Cocos
------------------------------ Species     nucifera L.       Coconut palm
------------------------- Genus      Dypsis
------------------------------ Species     decaryi (Jum.) Beentje & J.Dransf.       Triangle palm / Laafa
------------------------------ Species     decipiens (Becc.) Beentje & J.Dransf.,       Manambe palm / Betefaka / Sihara leibe
------------------------------ Species     lutescens (H.Wendl.) Beentje & J.Dransf.       Bamboo or Golden cane or Areca or Butterfly palm / Rehazo / Lafahazo / Lafaza
------------------------- Genus      Phoenix
------------------------------ Species     canariensis Chabaud       Canary Island date palm / Palmera Canaria
------------------------------ Species     reclinata Jacq.       Wild or Senegal date palm / Mkindu / Makindu / Gonyoorriya / Meti / Gedo / Sosiyot / Othith / Ol-tukai / Konchor / Itikindu / Alol / Mhongana / Kigangatehi / Nakadoki / Mangatche / Dara / Taratra / Taratsy / Calalou / Kajinjiri / Dabino biri / Deli / Kabba / Umukindo / Shaka-Le / Kundi / Dikindu / Makerewa / Shikerewa / Daro / Mkindwi / Luchingu / Kihangaga / Itchi / Lukindu / Musansa / Enkinu / Emusogot / Ekingol / Mukindu / Muyiti / Otit / Tit / Itchi / Lusansa
------------------------------ Species     roebelenii O'Brien       Pygmy or Miniature date palm / Paam sipsong pannaa / Xishuangbanna palm / Cha rang
------------------------- Genus      Rhapis
------------------------------ Species     excelsa (Thunb.) Henry       Rhapis / Lady palm
------------------------- Genus      Syagrus
------------------------------ Species     romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman       Queen or Cocos palm
------------------------- Genus      Trachycarpus
------------------------------ Species     fortunei (Hook.) H.Wendl.  (wagnerianus)        Chusan or Chinese windmill palm
--------------- Order      Acorales
-------------------- Family      Acoraceae, the sweet flag family
------------------------- Genus      Acorus
------------------------------ Species     calamus L.  # fresh root can be poisonous #        Common sweet flag / Beewort / Bitter pepper root / Calamus or Flag root / Gladdon / Myrtle flag or grass or root or sedge / Pine or Rat root / Sea or Sweet sedge / Sweet cane or cinnamon or grass or myrtle or root or rush / Vacha / Bacch / Bajai / Gora-bach / Vasa bach / Vekhand / Vashambu / Vasambu / Vadaja / Vasa / Baje / Vayambu / Haimavati / Bhutanashini / Jatila
------------------------------ Species     gramineus Sol. ex Aiton.       Grassy-leaved or Japanese sweet flag / Dwarf sedge / Japanese rush
--------------- Order      Asparagales
-------------------- Family      Asparagaceae, the asparagus family   EndoMycorrhizal
------------------------- Genus      Beaucarnea (Nolina)
------------------------------ Species     recurvata Lem.       Elephant's foot / Ponytail palm
------------------------- Genus      Dracaena
------------------------------ Species     reflexa Lam.  (marginata)       Red-edge Dracaena / Madagascar dragon tree / Pleomele / Song of India
-------------------- Family      Xanthorrhoeaceae, the grass tree family
------------------------- Genus      Aloe
------------------------------ Species     dichotoma Masson       Quiver tree / Kokerboom
------------------------------ Species     plicatilis Mill.       Fan aloe / Waaier aalwyn / Cape quivertree / Kaapse kokerboom
------------------------------ Species     ramosissima Pillans       Maiden's quiver tree
--------------- Order      Poales
-------------------- Family      Bromeliaceae, the bromeliad family
------------------------- Genus      Deuterocohnia (Abromeitiella)
------------------------------ Species     brevifolia (Griseb.) M.A.Spencer & L.B.Sm.       Deuterocohnia
-------------------- Family      Poaceae, the true grass family   EndoMycorrhizal
------------------------- Genus      Arundinaria (Bambusa, Pleioblastus)
------------------------------ Species     chino (Franch. & Sav.) Makino  (akebono)        Maximowicz's bamboo / Pikkubambu
------------------------- Genus      Bambusa
------------------------------ Species     multiplex (Lour.) Raeusch. ex Schult. & Schult. f.  (argentea, glaucescens, nana)  18        Hedge bamboo / Oriental hedge bamboo / Golden goddess bamboo / Chinese dwarf bamboo / Chinese goddess bamboo
------------------------------ Species      ventricosa McClure  (tuldoides)        Buddha's belly or Swollen stemmed bamboo / Butto chiku / Tu tu chu
------------------------- Genus      Chimonobambusa (Arundinaria, Bambusa)
------------------------------ Species     marmorea (Mitford.) Makino  W       Marbled bamboo / Kan-chiku
------------------------- Genus      Miscanthus
------------------------------ Species     sinensis Andersson  (boninensis, chejuensis, chrysander, condensatus, coreensis, flavidus, hidakanus, ionandros, kanehirai, kokusanensis, littoralis, matsudae, nakaianus, purpurascens, pycnocephalus, transmorrisonensis, zebrinus)  W        Chinese silver or Eulalia or Susuki or Maiden or Zebra or Porcupine grass
------------------------- Genus      Phyllostachys (Bambusa)
------------------------------ Species      atrovaginata C. S. Chao & H. Y. Zhou  (congesta)  W       Incense bamboo / Wu yá zhú
------------------------------ Species     bambusoides Siebold & Zucc.  (castillonii, geniculata, lithophila, macrantha, marliacea, mazelii, megastachya, nigra, pinyanensis, quilioi, reticulata, simonsonii)  W       Japanese timber bamboo / Madake
------------------------------ Species      edulis (Carrière) J.Houz.  (bicolor, heterocycla, mitis, pubescens, tubaeformiis)  W        Moso bamboo / Mao zhu
------------------------------ Species      nigra (Lodd. ex Lindl.) Munro  (boryana, filifera, fulva, mitis, nana, nigripes, nigropunctata, puberula, punctata, stolonifera)  W        Black bamboo
------------------------- Genus      Pleioblastus (Arundinaria, Bambusa, Sasa)
------------------------------ Species      argenteostriatus (Regel) Nakai  (akasiensis, akebono, angustatus, angustifolia, arundinarioides, boshyuensis, chino, chrysanthus, communis, distichus, elongatus, episetosus, flaccidifolius, gilvohirsutus, gracilis, harimensis, humilis, ikarugaensis, inversus, japonicus, latichino, laydekeri, lentigiosus, maximowiczii, mayebarae, mayumianus, multifolius, nebulosus, nezasa, pumilus, purpurascens, tanakae, vaginatus, variegatus, yoshidake)  W        Japanese or Argenteostriatus bamboo
------------------------------ Species      fortunei (Van Houtte) Nakai  (argenteo-striatus, chino, dimorphophyllus, distichus, pubescens, pygmaeus, ramosissimus, shibuyanus, tectus, tosaensis, tsukubensis, uyenoensis, variegata, variegatus, yasuianus, yoshidake)  W        Dwarf whitestripe or Pygmy or Tsuboi bamboo
------------------------------ Species      viridistriatus (Regel) Makino  (auricomus)  W        Dwarf greenstripe bamboo / Kamuro-zasa
------------------------- Genus      Pseudosasa (Arundinaria, Bambusa, Pleioblastus)
------------------------------ Species      disticha (Mitford) Nakai  (disticha)        Dwarf fern-leaf bamboo
------------------------------ Species      humilis (Mitford) T.Q.Nguyen       Dwarf bamboo / Toyooka-zasa
------------------------------ Species     owatarii (Makino) Makino       Dwarf owatarii bamboo / Yakusima-ya-dake / Yakushima-dake
------------------------- Genus      Sasa (Arundinaria, Bambusa, Phyllostachys)
------------------------------ Species      veitchii (Carrière) Rehder  (albomarginata, atagoensis, auriculata, doiyoshiwoana, grandifolia, higoensis, horribilis, kinkiensis, myojinensis, notopeninsulae, persimilis, rigescens, sachalinensis, sadaoi, sandangorgiana, sasagaminensis, sayekiensis, tangoana, tyuhgokensis, uii, yettiuensis)       Kuma bamboo grass / Kuma-zasa / Yakiba-zasa
------------------------- Genus      Sasaella
------------------------------ Species     hidaensis Makino       Bamboo / Hishu-zasa
------------------------------ Species      masamuneana (Makino) C.S.Chao & Renvoize       Bamboo / Kurio-zasa / Genkei-chiku
------------------------- Genus      Shibataea (Arundinaria, Bambusa, Phyllostachys, Sasa)
------------------------------ Species     kumasasa (Steud.) Makino  [kumasaca]  (chinensis, pygmaea, ruscifolia, tumidinoda)       Kumasasa bamboo / Okame zasa
--------------- Order      Zingiberales
-------------------- Family      Musaceae, the banana family   EndoMycorrhizal
------------------------- Genus      Musa
------------------------------ Species     acuminata Colla  (brieyi, cavendishii, cerifera, chinensis, corniculata, javanica, minor, rhinozerotis, rumphiana, simiarum, sinensis, zebrina)       Red banana
------------------------- Genus      Musella
------------------------------ Species     lasiocarpa (Franch.) Cheesman  (splendida)       Chinese dwarf or golden lotus banana

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Index by Family
Anthophyta
Cycadophyta
Pinophyta
Pteridophyta
Notes
Magnoliophyta - Rosidae I
Magnoliophyta - Asteridae
Magnoliophyta - Caryophyllidae
Magnoliophyta - Dilleniidae
Magnoliophyta - Hamamelididae
Magnoliophyta - Magnoliidae
Magnoliophyta - Ranunculidae
Magnoliophyta - Rosidae II


To show patterns of "ease" with known/experienced plants, to find suggested "ease" with unknown/new plants,
to uncover previously unsuspected patterns.
Of course, location and microclimate will ultimately determine when members of the same genus can be grown near each other.


This listing includes more specimens than are delineated in the strict Japanese sense of the word "bonsai."
Enthusiasts around the world are incorporating more and often uniquely local types of plants in their magical miniature landscape compositions,
and thus these pages are compiled with this larger reference in mind.

We are using here the APG II System, with some blending of a modified Cronquist System.
We acknowledge that for some of these plants there could be disagreement regarding ranks above the family level.

(Non-italicized genus or species names) in parenthesis are synonyms of the preceding italicized official genus or species.
Small print non-italicized names after the official species name indicate the author(s) of the original genus placement;
if the genus was changed, we show (the original author(s) in parentheses) followed by the current author, per standard citation practices.
Where a synonym of one plant is also the same as another actual listed species for that genus,
the first plant was listed in some places as a variety of the synoynm rather than as its own species as presented here.
Due to space considerations, we are not including the author(s) for the synonyms.
[Non-italicized genus names] in brackets are alternative but incorrect spellings of the preceding italicized official genus.
Most of the botanical names herein follow The Plant List.


We have started to indicate after the genus name which plants as bonsai are especially favored for their flowers (*),
which are favored for their fruits (o), and which are favored for their colored leaves (#), particularly in autumn.
Please keep in mind that the colors of these symbols are arbitrary and do not necessarily reflect the actual color of the flowers and/or fruits so indicated.
Not all members of the genus may produce these favors.

X after a name indicates rare and/or endangered species.

P after a name indicates pioneer plants, the first to colonize a disturbed or damaged community, fast growers with lots of long-viable seeds, but not particularly long-lived as mature plants.

W after a name indicates weedy or invasive species in some locations, so be careful with your discarded material or parts thereof.

The twenty-three most popular species nowadays are indicated in bolded green.

The original "Four Gentlemen," "Seven Virtuous Ones," and "Eighteen Scholars" are so indicated by either 4, 7, or 18 after the species name.

The climate zone where they are growing will affect whether a few of these plants are perennials or are completely deciduous.



Anyone who knows of additional species used as bonsai or updates/corrections to this listing
is asked to please contact  rjb@magiminiland.org.  Thank-you.



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