The Stephenandra

The Stephenandra incisa, Cutleaf, is a common scrub used for borders in gardens. It is a low growing plant with small flowers in summer.

The growth is strong and loose, so cutting back regularly is simple method to develop a decent canopy and good branch formation. Finding a specimen with a good fat trunk is more difficult because like the Lonicera nitida, Stephenandra  has a habbit of growing slim trunks.


I was fortunate that a fellow bonsai friend had one for sale very cheap some years ago. That was in 2009, and now almost ten years later, it has developed satisfyingly. Like all other bonsai time is factor when developing bonsai. Both larger bonsai and Shohin.

The transformation has been rather simple. Changing the angle of the trunk a bit, and removing a part of the tree, dividing it in two. Now, ten years after, it has changed into a tree. Showing both the strength of the trunk, and the more feminine fine leaves and flowers. 

The pot

The pot is made by Danish potter Elsebeth Ludvigsen. It compliments the tree very well. One of my favourite pots from Elsebeth. The size of the pot fits with the size of the trunk, and the colours underlines the leaf colour. The glaze has a kind of reflection of a hazy summer sky with some earth tones. Giving it a feeling of a natural scenery of summer fields. This is all about sensing the scenery and emotions, translating it into a natural scenery of bonsai. 

Therefore this pot is aimed for a summer display, and should be changed for a winter display. A winter display needs clearer pot colours, to express the clear air and sharper light present at that time of the year. 

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