by Jerry Meislik
In 1974 I visited David Fukumoto of Fuku-Bonsai at his nursery in Kurtistown, Big Island, Hawaii. You can read more about my visit here.
One of the many plants that David gave me to try growing in my plant room in Montana is was a small seedling Ficus microcarpa, Chinese Banyan. The plant did well in my plant room and grew nicely. From the start I decided to keep it as a small bonsai so I would allow it to grow out but then trimmed it back to keep its small size. The plant did well and had no particular problems.
As you can see from the pictures the plants leaves remained quite small and my nickname for it was Micro Blue, mainly since its leaves were small as well as having a blue surface color. It many ways it reminded me of the roundish leaves of my Rainforest Banyan, also given to me by David in 1974. To see more about this Rainforest Banyan, click here.
Surprise, the plant grew quite well, perhaps not as quickly as a normal microcarpa but well enough. Grafted or growing on its own roots it still retained the blue color and nice leaf shape. However, its size was about twice that when grown un-restrained on its own roots or grafted.
Clearly the Micro Blue cultivar is not a dwarf as far as leaf size is concerned. But it may turn out to be a smaller mature plant.
David Fukumoto will be growing this material to see how well it will do in Hawaii. If it grows well it may be offered as a special offer to members of the Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation, MPBF. To learn more about this great organization click here.