Esprit Bonsai International – August 2019

(Nancy Kaufman) #1
72 - EspritBonsaiInternational #101


in common. In both cases we are dealing
with a plant, often a perennial, growing in
an attractive pot. This plant should take
us on a journey through time and the
seasons, or transport us to a place that is
typical for its biotope. It magnifies nature
during a specific period of the year.
This representation of nature, magni-
fied and staged by human beings,
reconnects us to our environment and
to the passage of time.

A true accent plant
Shitakusa are true accent plants, which
we compose and cultivate to accompany
our bonsai during exhibitions.
The purest Japanese tradition insists
on the fact that an accent plant must
not contain more than one plant. And
yet, even in the most prestigious bonsai
exhibitions in Japan, it is possible to see


ccent plants, called kusamo-
no or shitakusa depending
on the context, are more and
more in evidence in the bon-
sai world. Yet most bonsaists still know
little to nothing about them. So here is an
overview of these Japanese terms, and
the secrets they hold, because they too
often remain abstruse and consequently
are used haphazardly.
Although shitakusa and kusamono are
different, they also display some points

On the left, a kusamono, which will be displayed on its own. On the right, two shitakusa – true accent plants – each
consisting of a single plant. The kusamono attracts attention through the strong blue of the Veronica spicata flowers.
Another plant is developing behind it to take over flowering during the summer. Pot by the Poterie Saint-Hubert.

Kusamono and shitakusa are two different

types of composition: the first stands alone

and consists of several plants, while the second

is just one plant that accompanies a bonsai.

Shitakusa or kusamono?

Author: Xavier Dreux
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