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Crytomeria japonica from the Kew Bonsai Collection
Indoor Bonsai Species

Indoor Bonsai are normally tropical and sub-tropical species, that can survive indoors in the more temperate parts of the world, where we normally have a heated living environment where they can survive provided off-course that we can also supply them with their other requirements of suitable for healthy growth such as light and humidity.


1 Adenium obesum

Desert Rose, Mock Azalea, Impala Lilly

Adenium obesum originates from East Africa but is found widely cultivated in tropical regions as a garden and house plant because of it lovely variously coloured star shaped flowers. All parts of the Adeniums are toxic with its Sap and Roots being used as a poison in hunting in Africa. The Adeniums are trouble free easy to care for plants it need to be maintained at temperatures above 10C, have a dryish soil and a well light location. Its physical characteristics of bulbous trunk, gnarled roots, stemy branches make it a unique and attractive bonsai.


2 Caragana arborescens

Pea Tree

Native to Manchuria and Siberia and also naturalised in France the Pea Tree is hardy to zone 2. A deciduous large shrub or multistemmed small tree with erect to spreading branches. Almost columnar shape though can also be rounded upto 20' tall with a green young stems and grey bark on older wood.


3 Carmona microphylla

Fukien Tea Tree, Carmona, Philippine Tea

Carmona microphylla species is Native to India, South East Asia and Southern China. Its compact nature, small leaves, small white flowers, red berries, and gnarled looking trunk all make it a lovely bonsai to grow. It can be a temperamental Bonsai to grow.


4 Crassula ovata

Jade Tree, Money Tree, Elephant Tree

Jade Tree is considered to be an auspicious tree in many parts of the orient, bringing the grower health and prosperity. Crassula ovata are ideal plants for beginners as they are very hardy to drought and seem to tolerate over watering. The species can be grown as medium to large Bonsai and in just about any style of Bonsai and is full of year round character with its fleshy almost round leafs, and multicoloured stems which are green when young, red-brown as it matures to a craggy slate grey. Crassula, also use an alternate method of fixing Carbon, which makes them a useful tree to help combat global warming. In their Native Mozambique, and Tropical South Africa, they can grow to 3 meters tall and have branches up 20cm thick.


5 Crassula sarcocaulis

Bonsai Crassula

Found in mountainous regions of Southern Africa, from Zambia to Mozambique to Swaziland, they are ideal plants for beginners as they are very hardy to drought and seem to tolerate over watering. The species can be grown a small to medium Bonsai and in just about any style of Bonsai. Full of character all year round its fleshy spikey leafs, delicate red-brown stems and lovely white to pink flowers offer some thing of interest through out the year.


6 Ficus americana

Ficus Panda, Green Island Ficus, West Indian Laurel Fig

The Ficus Panda has light almost Round Thick leaves which alternate up the stem.It has brown to reddish bark dotted with small horizontal flecks. Heavy trunk with terriffic aerial roots.


7 Ficus benghalensis

Banyan Fig, Bengal Fig, Banyan

Ficus benghalensis is a species of banyan endemic to vast tracts of the Indian Sub-continent It can grow into a giant tree covering several acers. The Banyan produces aerial roots that take root and grow into woody trunks. Eventually making it almost impossible to identify the main trunk. In the India where it is an auspicious tree, it a very popular Bonsai Species, making medium to large Bonsai.


8 Ficus benjamina

Weeping Fig Tree

A beautiful evergreen tree that has spread broader than it is taller with dense umbrella-like canopy of pendant branches that cascade down to the ground, hence the name, weeping fig. In temperate areas of the world it is grown as a house plant. In warmer regions the tree is grown as a specimen, street tree, or as a hedge. The tree has adventitious roots both above and below ground which can break up concrete surfaces and numerous fruits, that are a spectacular red colour.


9 Ficus elastica

Rubber Fig, Rubber Plant, Indian Rubber Tree, Assam Rubber

Ficus elastica is native to the a vast tract of East Asia, from North-east India, to Java, where it does well in wet forest lands, where winter temperature do not fall below 10C and rainfall and humidity are extremely high. It starts it life as an epiphyte, eventually strangling the host tree and going on to be a giant tree itself. It produces aerial roots that hang down wards from branches, and help support long heavy branches and often forms new trunks themselves, often the original truck is long lost. It takes easily to being a Bonsai but has uniquely large leaves even they do reduce quite considerably with the Bonsai process.


10 Ficus macrophylla

Karrevaira, Moreton Bay Fig, Waabie

The Moreton Bay Fig is a beautiful evergreen tree that has spread broader than it is taller with dense umbrella-like canopy with huge trunk and wide buttressed roots and is a Native of Autralia. Figs are orange to purple and up to 2.5 cm in diameter and fruit over several months of the year. Aborigines used the bark to make string. Makes interesting bonsai plant.


11 Ficus microcarpa

Chinese banyan, Laurel fig, Ficus Ginseng

The Ficus Microcarpa has green to dark green leaves which alternate up the stem and which are more oval than the Benjamina and more like the Retusa, but broader. Grey-brown bark which is almost smooth has heavy trunk with terrific aerial roots.


12 Ficus retusa

Indian Laurel Fig, Banyan Fig

The Retusa has medium to dark green leaves which alternate up the stem and which are more oval than the Benjamina. Grey to reddish bark dotted with small horizontal flecks, similar to tiger-like markings. Heavy butteresed trunk with lots of arial roots.


13 Ficus retusa Nitida

Indian Laurel Fig, Ficus nitida, Banyan Fig

The Retusa has light green leaves which alternate up the stem and which are more oval than the Benjamina. Grey to reddish bark dotted with small horizontal flecks, similar to tiger-like markings. Heavy trunk with terriffic aerial roots.


14 Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides is a small shrub with greyish bark and dark green shiny leaves. The white to creamish flowers flowers bloom in spring and summer and are highly fragrant. At the best of times these are challenging plants to grow, but they do make a delightfull little fragrant bonsai or house plant.


15 Ilex crenata

Japanese Holly

Japanese holly, box-leafed holly - an evergreen shrub that gets its name from its leaves, which cause it to be sometimes mistaken for box. It has small dense green shiny leaves and produces small black shiny fruits. It is very Popular as a Bonsai Species in Japan and is quite frost hard in the most of England and Wales.


16 Lagerstroemia indica

Crepe Myrtle

L. indica is an upright, deciduous tree with peeling, grey and brown bark and small dark-green, opposite leaves to 8 cm. Each plant has separate male and female flowers; vast numbers appear in Summer clothing the tree in white, pink, red or purple depending on the variety.


17 Ligustrum sinense

Chinese Privet, Small-Leaved Privet

A deciduous Shrubs or small trees growing to between 2 meters and 4 meters, rarely 7 m. Branchlets and leafs are hairy when you gradually become hairless. It habitat is in China and Vietnam is in thickets, mixed woods and forests in valleys and ravines mainly along streams. Is widely grown as a Bonsai in China from where hundreds of thousands have been exported to Europe and the America.


18 Musa acuminata Dwarf

Dwarf Banana

Musa acuminata, is a species of wild banana native to Southeast Asia. It is one of the progenitors of modern edible bananas along with Musa balbisiana. The Dwarf Varieties grown between 1.5'-6' and are ideal for Bonsai. It has a tight leafy stem, thick leaves which are tolerant of low light and are able to take quite low temperatures, which is what make it and ideal Indoor Bonsai.


19 Olea europaea

Olive tree, Black olive, Green olive, King-of-trees

An evergreen tree growing to about 30 feet, native of the mediteranian and Western Europe, it is now wildly grown around the world for it rich fruit and oils, which are extracted through a non chemical process of cold pressing. The fruit and oils are widly used in salads and Mediterranean cooking. The olive has deep green leaves with greyish undersides, and produces yellowish-white flowers followed by green or black fruit in late summer or early fall. It is much loved by bonsai enthusiasts as much for its rich historical and mythical lore as it is for its elegant shiny green leaves and trunk which takes on an aged, stony appearance when old. It can live to 800 or 1000 years.


20 Pistacia chinensis

Chinese pistachio

A medium to large tree with elegant and attractive, glossy green, pinnate leaves that turn a beautiful orange red or crimson in autumn.


21 Pistacia lentiscus

Mastic Tree, Evergreen Pistache

The mastic tree, also known as the lentisc, is an dense irregular evergreen shrub or tree, usually low (4.5 - 7.5 meters) and spreading (4.5 - 7.5 meters) but which can sometimes grow as high as 8 meters. The tree's resin, is used form many purposes including, the production of varnishes, adhesives, chewing gum, in the photography and lithography and for medicinal purpose. The berries are sometimes used for making sweets or liqueurs.


22 Plumeria obtusa

Frangipani, Plumeria, The Temple Tree, Champa, Melia

A small tree can grow up to 6 meters, has thick stocky sausage like and smooth grey green bark on its trunk gnarled looking trunk. While its is a native of Tropical South America from Mexico to as far south as Brazil, is has naturalised in most of the drier parts of tropical Asia. It is commonly associated with mythology and folklore in Hindu and Buddhism and Samoan cultures. It flowers are used in Indian incense and to make the garlands in Hawaii. In India it has a special place amongst temples and historical building. As Bonsai it is only just picking up popularity, and is gaining popularity as a conservatory plant in temperate regions.


23 Podocarpus macrophyllus

Buddhist Pine, Chinese Yew, Kasamiki, Japanese Yew

The Podocoarpus is from the Conifer group and has long oval leafs 5-15 cm long. It grows to 25 meters occasionally to 40 meters, produces Yew like Purple Fruit, and is distributed through Japan, China and Himalayan Asia. It is much revered tree in Japanese and Chinese temples and is a favourite Bonsai too. It is grown in the colder regions as an Indoor Bonsai.


24 Portulacaria afra

Jade Tree, Money Tree, Portulacaria, Small-leaf Jade Tree, Dwarf Jade

Portulacaria afra, Jade Tree or Money Tree is relatively new to bonsai in the West. In the Orient where it is considered to be an auspicious tree, it has been growing for eons. Portulacaria are ideal plants for beginners as they are very hardy to drought and seem to tolerate over watering. The species can be grown in just about any style of Bonsai and is full of year round character with its fleshy almost round leafs, and multicoloured stems which are green when young, red-brown as it matures to a graggy slate grey. Recently, there has been much research into this plant being a significant Carbon fixer, and with a capibility of holding 4-5 times as much carbon.


25 Psidium guajava

Guava

While it is Native to the Caribbean and the South Americas it is widely cultivated around the globe. Its fruit are a favourite and usually yellow in colour when ripe, while the flesh may be white to pink. It make a lovely small to medium Bonsai with the light brown-tan peeling bark, flowers and fruit offering year round features.


26 Punica granatum

Pomegranate

The pomegranate is a shrub about 20 feet tall with multiple stems. The slender branches start out upright then droop gracefully. Unpruned shrubs have a decidedly weeping or fountain shaped habit. The pomegranate is native to Asia, from the Middle East to the Himalayas, where it grows in sandy or rocky scrublands. It is cultivated for its fruit and showy flowers in much of the Mediterranean region and tropical America. The pomegranate is now naturalised in parts of southern Europe and the American South and Southwest.


27 Punica granatum Nana

Dwarf Pomegranate

The dwarf pomegranate is a shrub about 1meter tall with multiple stems. The slender branches start out upright then droop gracefully. Unpruned shrubs have a decidedly weeping or fountain shaped habit. The pomegranate is native to Asia, from the Middle East to the Himalayas, where it grows in sandy or rocky scrublands. It is cultivated for its fruit which is much cherished through Asia and the Mediteranian


28 Sageretia theezans

Sageretia, Mock Buckthorn, Sweet-plum, Chinese sweet plum

An evergreen shrub that grows to 3 m tall with delicate oval light green to green leaves 1-5 cm, it has inconpicuious flowers and small edible drupe shaped fruit upto 1cm in diameter. It is a long cherised Bonsai species and has many old specimens.


29 Schefflera arboricola

Dwarf Umbrella Tree, Hawaiian Schefflera

An evergreen shrub growing between 3 and 4 m tall, with weak trailing stems and palmately compound leaves. It is as popular a house plant as it is a Bonsai. In the UK it is not as common as a Bonsai which is a shame really as it is really quite robust in our indoor living conditions tolerating low light and to some extent even dry draughty conditions.


30 Serissa foetida Mount Fuji

Varigated Tree of a Thousand Stars, Serrisa Mount Fuji

Serissa foetida Mount Fuji cultivar has larger leaves and a thicker stem than other Serissas. It is strongly variegated, with single Star shaped white flowers. Variegation changes throughout the year, based on temperature, light and nutrient content.


31 Serissa foetida

Serissa, Tree of a Thousand Stars , Snow Rose

Serissa, is by far one of the most popular Bonsai trees sold in Europe and America. It makes a beautiful bonsai; has very small dark green leaves, a beautifully textured bark, trunk even on young trees, and when in boom does justice to its names of Tree of Thousand Stars and Snow Carpet.


32 Tamarindus indica

Tamarind, Indian tamarind, kily tree, Imli

Tamarind is a large, beautiful evergreen tropical tree that can grow up to 75' tall. The trunk has cracks, down and across; the bark is brown-gray. It has a dense and spreading crown of bipinnate foliage and numerous yellow, with red and purple filaments, flowers.The brown woody pod contains the seeds; black, shiny squares surrounded by pulp. Tamarind is a slow grower but can live and still remains productive for 150 years or longer.


33 Ulmus parvifolia

Chinese Elm

Chinese elm is fast growing, deciduous or evergreen depending on its location, forms a graceful upright rounded canopy with shiny, dark green leathery leaves. Several dwarf varieties, sports of Ulmus parvifolia, exist which grow slower than the ordinary Chinese elm. Chinese Elm produce a fine network of twigs and branches help them turn into impressive Bonsai in a short time. A versitile and very popular species of Bonsai, especially with those just starting out with Bonsai.


34 Zanthoxylum beecheyanum

Chinese Pepper, Sichuan Pepper

A small decidious shrub growing to about a 1 meter, native to the Himalayan and mountainous regions of China, Korea, Manchuria and Japan, with brownish prickly bark and paired spines, flowers small and yellow-green with male and female on separate trees. Zanthoxylum or Xanthoxylum comes from the Greek word meaning yellow wood.


35 Zanthoxylum piperitum

Pepper Tree, Japanese Pepper, Sichuan Pepper

A small decidious shrub growing to 2 meters by 2 meter, native to the Himalayan and mountainous regions of China, Korea, Manchuria and Japan with brownish prickly bark and paired spines, flowers small and yellow-green with male and female on separate trees. Zanthoxylum or Xanthoxylum comes from the Greek word meaning yellow wood.