Faux little rose - Raphiolepis

Faux little rose - Raphiolepis

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Raphiolepis in the garden

The rather particular name (Finta rosellina or Raphiolepis) indicates a beautiful evergreen shrub, originating in China, Japan and Korea, closely related to roses. It is a slow-growing plant, which can easily reach, over the years, two meters in height, although in general it takes many years to exceed 100-150 cm. The foliage is glossy and leathery, oval and dark green in color; throughout the spring, at the apex of the branches, numerous small star-like flowers bloom, united in corymbs, pink or white. The flowers are followed by small fruits, black meline, which in some species are edible.

Often the novice bonsaist gets intimidated by the all-oriental attitude to follow very specific canons, and tends to cultivate only the plants he has seen in an exhibition or on a text in photography as bonsai.So in Italy we are used to seeing bonsai more or less a photocopy of each other, completely similar to those we can see in the bonsai catalog of any store.We rarely see bonsai of plants different from the usual Asian plants, which then dare to show off flowers or fruits.Finta rosellina - Raphiolepis: Bonsai in Asia

In Asia bonsai are prepared with all the plants found in nature, and therefore also with the species of raphiolepis (fake rosellina), which are well suited, to be bonsaized, given the very slow growth and the tiny sized fruits.
Surely it is not a bonsai for beginners, but if we try it we can certainly look for the satisfaction of a small plant that is completely covered with pink flowers, followed by small apples.
An outdoor evergreen bonsai that does not fear frost and tolerates drought quite well. It certainly takes many years and a lot of work to reduce the size of the foliage, but I think it is an effort that is definitely worth it.