‘Kinsai’ is a popular satsuki azalea cultivar. The flowers are red and the petals are narrow. Mostly.
There are a few different variations of kinsai (pink flowers, wide petals, etc.), and there can be considerable variation among the flowers on a single tree. You can see this on the specimen below that has started to bloom.
Satsuki azalea ‘Kinsai’
Some of the flowers have narrow petals while other petals are full-size. Here’s a close-up of the different flower shapes.
Different petal widths
The narrow petals are the most desirable on kinsai satsuki, so it’s common to remove the flowers with wide petals ahead of exhibits.
Three flowers with wide petals and three with narrow petals
If a branch produces flowers that have predominantly wide petals, the branch can be removed to encourage new growth that produces narrow-petaled flowers.
Desirable flower petals
Because the cultivar has been popular for a long time, a number of the specimens have large trunks.
Kinsai satsuki azalea
(for a better photo of this tree, see page 87 of The Little Book of Bonsai)
They’re also among the hardier satsuki cultivars which makes them relatively easy to develop as bonsai.
Do you have experience with kinsai satsuki azaleas? If so, share it in the comments below.
2020 Satuski Dictionary now available!
Every few years, Japan’s primary satsuki dictionary gets an update. This year’s edition features a large format (7.1″ x 10.1″) that accommodates an additional 400 cultivated varieties.
The softcover reference book is in Japanese but features color photos of 1400 popular varieties and an English-language index. Learn more at the Bonsai Tonight Online Store.
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