The autumn colours are gone and winter is usually pretty drab in the bonsai garden unless you have flowering Japanese Quince. Also known as Chaenomeles, most of the garden varieties flower later in winter, before the leaves sprout but this variety, called ‘Chojubai’ has occasional flowers all year round and a more concentrated display right through winter.
The brilliant orange flowers are small which is an advantage for bonsai.
Growth habit is a multi stemmed shrub. It appears to be difficult to grow as a single stemmed tree so most Chojubai bonsai seem to be clump style plants.
Michael Hagedorn has assembled some great photos in this post on his website – Diminutive Jewels
I acquired my original Chojubai from Joe Morgan Payler who says he has ‘a healthy obsession’ for this variety. Here’s a link to a post on nichigobonsai with photos he has taken at Japanese bonsai shows.
Chojubai are certainly spectacular in flower but they are slow growing so you should start yours now if you hope to get one into your local bonsai show.
Shibui bonsai has limited numbers of Chojubai in 11 cm pots available now just $15 each for smaller ones or $20 for 3 year old plants similar to the one shown above.