Bonsai Style Inspiration: Ficus Macrophylla (Moreton Bay Fig) and Developing Root Flare | Mind Your Dirt
An amazing and beautiful design element in bonsai is the root flare or nebari. Also known as buttressing, this method is a perfect way to make a bonsai appear ancient, grounded and well anchored to the growing medium. Without it, bonsai tend to look like you just stuck a stick in the dirt and the viewer is not awed and their mind remains un-blown. The Ficus macrophylla or Moreton Bay Fig is an inspiring specimen when it comes to root flare. A powerful beast that is in the business of taking over it's environment. This strangler fig typically germinates in the canopy of a poor innocent host tree. It remains there until it can send a long skinny root all the way down to the earth. Then it grows. Fast too. Once the roots get established it out-grows the host tree, completely engulfing it until it becomes a mere skeleton. Forever buried in the core of this beastly banyan tree. They can grow up to 200 feet in height and have an impressive canopy and nebari in older specimens.
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