On 17 & 18 March 2018 an exhibition of Australian native plants as bonsai was held at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra. I went for a look on the Sunday in very unfriendly weather conditions. In fact most of the botanic gardens were closed because of the bush fire danger and there was an eerie atmosphere because of dust storms, but the bonsai did win out.

I think it is time for the organizing committee to think about the display location and the display material for any future events. The set-up looks a little tired and the space provided is certainly not ideal for showing bonsai “properly” and I think this is shown in some of the photos.

Anyway, onto the trees………

Banksia serrata

This tree is about 15 years old and was selected by the owner from bonsai stock plants.


Grown from a seedling this Tea Tree flowers in November/December with delicate small white flowers.

Kunzea ambigua

A shohin size “tick bush” about 12 years old.

Diselma archeri

The setting is depicting the Tasmanian high country where this plant is iconic.

Grevillea juniperina

Commonly called Grevillea pink lady because of its delicate pink flowers this species is very hardy in pot culture.

Leptospermum laevigatum

This coastal tea tree is about 6 years old and has been in training for only 2 years..

Ficus obliqua

It was nice to see a tropical Australian native bonsai on display and this Queensland small leaf fig lives in Canberra but was purchased from a bonsai nursery in Brisbane and is now about 18 years old.

Casuarina cunninghamiana

This 22 year old river she-oak was rescued from a school yard to live a much more peaceful life as a bonsai.

Casuarina cunninghamiana

Another 22 year old river she oak but this time as a forest. Are they unkept or are they trying to reflect how they look in the wild?

Leptospermum laevigatum

Coastal tea tree about 18 years old.

Melaleuca linarifolia

Paper bark “claret tops” is so named because of the pinky-red colour of the new foliage. This tree is about 17 years old and has been in training for about 12 years.

Banksia marginata

This bonsai is of reasonable size for being 16 years old, and shows the benefit of ground growing in the development phase.

Kunzea ericoides

This group of two trees has been in training for only two years and the trees are about five years old. This variety is called “snowman” because of the tiny white flowers it produces.

Acacia howittii

This tree originated from a native plant nursery and is about 8 years old.

Callitris endlicheri

Called “black cypress” but it is not a real cypress this tree is about 18 years old and in training for about 9 years.

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