Much ado about Shimpaku…and Itoigawa and Kishu Juniper

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Articolo di Nebari Bonsai

Nebari Bonsai

These three popular regional varieties of Juniperus chinensis are discussed often, but rarely are their features compared.  A few good articles exist that describe them, including Brent’s site, as well as this archived history of the shimpaku (although neither site shows a photo of Kishu).  Here are some observations and comparisons of each.  As always, please feel free to share your experiences as well!

First, it’s easiest to begin by looking at all three varieties.  From left to right: Itoigawa, Kishu, and Shimpaku.

The Itoigawa and Shimpaku came from Brent Walston, and the Kishu came from Miniature Plant Kingdom, via Plant City Bonsai, so their provenance is documented and trusted.

First, the Itoigawa.  This variety was discovered later than Shimpaku, and was responsible for the appearance of the dramatic, carved deadwood look on collected junipers.  Itoigawa was named for the city where they were discovered; at modern-day Niigata, which…

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