As I promised in the last post, here is the styling of that ficus triangularis
I found it at Jim Smith’s nursery in Vero Beach. I’d actually seen it many times and finally it said to me “Adam, take me home. I’ll be a good tree for you”
And so I did.
The ficus triangularis or, triangle fig, is native to Malaysia and more specifically, just off the mainland on the Triangle Islands, hence the name. It is a ficus that doesn’t need much water and,if watered too much, will become chlorotic and yellow. It naturally grows on the lee side of the mountains on the Triangle Islands and therefore gets very little water. Which makes it a good subject for bonsai when using good, inorganic bonsai soil. It can grow about 20 feet tall but mostly it is used as a houseplant (Egads Jeremy!)
Ficus triangularis is often mistaken for mistletoe fig (ficus deltoidea).
The flower and fruit are different and the leaf is different too.
This is a sketch of the mistletoe figs leaf
Notice the veining.
Now a pic of the triangle fig’s leaf
F. Triangularis will have pretty big leaves (it grows in partial shade, like a coffee plant) but, if grown in full sun and leaf reduction techniques are used, the leaf size can be brought down to less than an inch.
They flower often (which, with a fig, looks like the fruit) and all of them I’ve seen have the fruit/flower present.
The bark color and texture remind me of the f. Burt davyii, smooth and creamy. Which is not a surprise as the f. Burt davyii grows on Burt Davis Island in similar conditions.
Ok….I’m lying about the Triangle Islands (and Burt Davis Island).
Everything else I’ve said is true. Mostly.
Let’s style the tree.
The soil that this has been growing in is totally broken down and as fine as silt (its been waiting a long time for me to pick up). Subsequently, there is very little fine root growth. And it’s suffered a bit, it has had much twig dieback. Which, according to my f. Triangularis expert on call, is not usual.
And this lower branch
Show the scars of the dieback.
The lower branch must go in this design (bunjin) so I can clean the lower bulge up a bit (that sounds dirty)
Now some wire
The tough thing is matching the branch placement with the unique trunk character. It’s very angular but a rounded angularity.
The pot I’m putting it in is one I got years ago from Dale Cochoy (Wild Things Bonsai Studio) and I’ve finally found the tree for it.
Here’s a look at it
And now, the front!!!
A photo of a bunjin tree is always the hardest photo to take. One can never get the subtle movement and depth that a bunjin is known for.
They are meant to be walked around and looked up at.
Again I will reiterate this assertion: seeing a photo of a bonsai will never show you what it looks like. Go to shows, nurseries, exhibits and see them in person.
only shows line. Not depth.
Anyway, my plans for this tree.
That left branch needs to be longer and the angle lowered. Which will happen in time. And it just needs some more ramification and twigging.
Hope it was worth the wait.
Oh, another common name is the sweetheart tree. The leaf is heart shaped. Awwww…..