supertollamy
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:09 am

need help identifying my new bonsai

i just bought a bonsai, but it wasn't labeled, and i have no idea what kind it is. i have a really hard time keeping plants alive, so i want to know what this one is to give me a chance to thoroughly research it and figure out how to make it happy and stay alive.

i just took these pics really quickly on photobooth, so they're not super good, but hopefully they will be enough to identify it with.

someone please help! thanks!

[img]https://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h48/supertollamy/Photo48.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h48/supertollamy/Photo46.jpg[/img][/img]

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

supertollamy,

Your pictures are a bit unclear. I found one that I think might be a match for you to take a look at. How does this look?
Serissa foetida 'Variegata'

[img]https://www.pendernursery.com/Images/Serissa-foetidus-'Variegata'.jpg[/img]

Norm

supertollamy
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:09 am

perhaps these pics will help more

not sure, so i took some better pictures with a real camera instead of photo booth. hopefully these will help either confirm that your initial identification was right or easily identify it otherwise. thanks so much!

some leaves
[img]https://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h48/supertollamy/Fall2007_0300.jpg[/img]

there are different colored leaves on this bonsai
[img]https://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h48/supertollamy/Fall2007_0301.jpg[/img]

a picture to better show the trunk of the tree, incase that helps to identify it.
[img]https://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h48/supertollamy/Fall2007_0299.jpg[/img]

do you think this bonsai is good for a beginner?

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

supertollamy,

It looks like it to me but I don't grow this species so I'm at a disadvantage, perhaps someone else can confirm this. Prune a small portion from the tip of one of the branches and crush it, if it has an unpleasant odor this would tend to confirm this ID.

do you think this bonsai is good for a beginner?
This species has a reputation as being somewhat finicky and some people have difficulty with them. Others find them easier. :?:

[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Serissa.html[/url]

Norm

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

I do not have this species myself, either. But, I can seem to recall that many folks (especially 'new' posters to Bonsai Boards in general) have issues when they move 'em (serissae) around a lot, usually when they first get the plant and are excited and take it all over the house/yard, LOL! No certainty to this, but it seems likely, 'eh?!

Just do a bit of 'research' (upon final ID) to see what it *doesn't like* and it should be easy enough. A common beginner's mistake is to fert it right away - don't ;) Learn, then apply...its great you are already asking about it, IMO. Keep it up!

My first thought was a euonymus of some type (?harlequin maybe??) It looks similar to a labelled euonymus type my local WalMart has dying on a back aisle outdoors, haha, but obviously *much* healthier, but like I said, no real idea other than a w.a.g.

You can always search more images at images.google.com to see if there is an overabundance of confirmatory pics to support Gnomes semi-guess. I jsut entered 'euonymus' into the search bar, and tons of pics *very* similar popped up (check out the E japonicus sub-species) That bark sure looks familiar to me ;) No idea of flowers, though - something for you to do, I guess, hehe. On more looking, it sure keeps looking more and more like a euonymus to me, so I will quit searching and let *you* finalize the traits-for-ID (opposite-v-alternate leaves and other ID concerns), OK? That bark *is* something that is unique to focus upon, IMO - pretty striated and not common in tree kingdom.

Sorry,
Alex

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

I have to agree with Alex. It looks like an Euonymus cultivar. It's hard to say which one since there are a great number of cultivars. You might want to try a local nursery or college Ag depatment for ID.

Phil...

alisios
Senior Member
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:25 am
Location: Sedona, Arizona

That trunk stem and green leaves look like a Boxwood family to me...

supertollamy
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:09 am

i just got in touch with the store where i bought it (and where it wasn't labeled). they determined that it is probably an euonymus, which i've decided means that i have a shrub that's been bonsaied. i can't find much info about euonymus' as bonsais though, anyone got any info?

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Supertollamy: I sent ya a PM :)

alisios: I have never seen a boxwood with such a 'striated-bark' trunk as shown on the lower portion of trunk. Which type would you be referring to? I am just curious is all - not a debative question, for sure :)

Alex

alisios
Senior Member
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:25 am
Location: Sedona, Arizona

Korean Boxwood looks exactly like that - all the way down to the budding and all... I have 2 and I'll take a picture of my meager trees...

...unless... I actually have a - euonymus!! :D

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Here's a photo of Euonymus as bonsai. [img]https://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e188/coloradus/euonymus-japonica.jpg[/img]. This plant is evergreen and does well outside in zones 7-9. Alisios is your best bet for info on growing this tree as bonsai.

Phil...
Last edited by arboricola on Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alisios
Senior Member
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:25 am
Location: Sedona, Arizona

For comparison, here are some pictures from a previous thread about a Boxwood progression.

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4608

You'll notice the trunk and branches to be identical - just without the yellow tips...

if your do a search on the forum for "Boxwood", other photos will come up...

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Thx for the links - as I said, I had just never seen one 'in-person' so to speak. With the euonymus and boxwood 'families' likely containing ~100+ different 'subspecies'/cultivars, there is sure a lot of variety within the two. Even using 'classic' Latin can be confusing to folks that are familiar with the 'slang' terms used in their part of the country, LOL.

Pics make it so difficult to see the 'texture' of bark(s) and the depth of the 'striations', etc... The 'eounymus' I am familiar with (and thinking of in first pics) has ridging low on trunk almost as prominent as Ulmus alata does on its outer branchings (winged elm). Kinda gaudy and 'notably outstanding' where physical/3D-viewing is concerned. I have noticed (very casual walk-by) 'boxwoods' w/ similar patterning of colors upon lower bark before, but nowhere near the degree of 'height' to the striated vertical ridging of whitish (grey?) bark. Its not like I carry around a PDA with full-referencing available with me, LOL - but dang, I want one. It'd drive the wife further over-the-edge as I looked up stuff and confirmed/learned (meaningless to her) stuff whilst she shopped elsewhere in store(s) ;)

Alex

alisios
Senior Member
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:25 am
Location: Sedona, Arizona

I saw a "Gold Tip Euonymus" today and it had the green/yellow reversed from the picture Supertollamy provided...

Not that that means anything as I have no idea what I'm talking about... :D

supertollamy
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:09 am

now I'm super duper confused. so um, have we decided what my bonsai officially is? lol. and how do i keep it alive? i need plants that want to live. i mean it's so cute. not that you're supposed to get bonsais just because they're cute or anything.....

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Boxwood or Euonymus, it needs to be outside unless you live in the sub-artic like I do. Let it get plenty of light and water if dry. It will need less water as the weather gets colder. Protect the roots if temp goes below 30 degrees and stays there.

Phil...

supertollamy
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:09 am

but i can't put it outside. i live in on-campus housing with no balcony or porch of my own. it must live indoors! is this bad?

alisios
Senior Member
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:25 am
Location: Sedona, Arizona

I believe outdoors is best, but you may want to provided extra lighting (like fluorescence) and as much fresh air as you can - if it is a type of boxwood, a little a little winter chill is needed (at least here is Arizona) - watch the over watering...

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

supertollamy wrote: it must live indoors! is this bad?
Unfortunately, yes, its very bad, IMO. It may limp along for awhile, but there is no way to induce dormancy, or the semblance of a 'winter rest', even if an evergreen species. With little photonic energy upon the leaves, the chlorophyll will not be happy and the plant will 'starve', in essence, and the tissues will, most likely, not produce the necessary 'chemicals' for proper growth and to stimulate the rhythms/cycles of the tree's genetic content. A super-bright high-wattage (compact-fluoro and/or MH minimum) bulb upon it would help *greatly*, but unlikely it would be enough in the equation for indoor-happiness of 'hardwood plant life'. It is *possible*, though very unprobable if you can see the difference in the words there.

Perhaps the 'college'/school would allow you to place it in-ground outside somewhere for the duration. Tree could be placed in a bigger pot (using typical repotting guidelines, of course) and then place entire pot in-ground for easy removal at a later date. Not an uncommon practice and sometimes done to let roots 'escape' out pot drain hole(s) for easier dig-up and development of tree. The most area that would be affected would be about a square foot of ground in a garden bed or wherever, IMO. Otherwise, it is a grim future for your nice 'tree'. I am so sorry to say that, too, with your apparent joy found from the obtaining of such a nice 'specimen'. :(

I still go with the 'euonymus' variety ID myself, but I am just a 'hobbyist' that enjoys the attempts at accurate ID of species. It is likely I could never be considered an 'expert' in a court-of-law or other type environment, LOL. Follow me on that? DId ya get my PM?? There are also lots of googlable sites that list plenty of ID traits for the different ID's mentioned - stuff like flower-shape, stem shape (square-v-flat-round-etc) and other things that are best seen in-person. It is not too difficult to nail down the species when you have the full-listings of traits needed for ID. I do know of someone that may be able to help if I can copy some of your pics and e-mail to him and/or post on another type Board (Arbor Day forum, per se), but you can do this as well if you desire.

HTH,
Alex

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

In my opinion there is but one thing to do and that is return the tree and get a refund.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

supertollamy,

If you cannot place it outside on campus perhaps you can return it to your home for a few years. Planting it in the ground is advice that is often given anyway. This serves to thicken the trunk. Where would this be?

There are other species that will perform much better in your situation, indoors, Ficus being the most obvious. At any rate don't give up, just adapt. Bonsai takes patience and commitment.

Norm

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Gnome wrote:supertollamy,
There are other species that will perform much better in your situation, indoors, Ficus being the most obvious. At any rate don't give up, just adapt. Bonsai takes patience and commitment.
Ditto :) Happens to everyone, LOL....

Alex

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”