The Japanese flowering apricot below was displayed at this year’s Kokufu exhibit in Tokyo’s Ueno park.
Ume – Japanese flowering apricot
When deciding whether or not to accept ume bonsai for display at Kokufu, the judges consider the odds that the tree will bloom during the exhibit. If a flowering bonsai shows up a few weeks before the event in full bloom, it will likely be rejected as the flowers will have faded by the time the show comes around. Ideally, the tree will begin to open up during the exhibit so any flowers will be fresh and fragrant.
The ume above has less deadwood than other specimen in the exhibit, but the shape and movement of the trunk is interesting and the bark shows great age. The tree is fairly twiggy for the variety and the flowers look – and smelled – great. The pot suits the tree well. It’s a hexagonal shape I don’t often see in the U.S.
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