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Bonsai (lit. bon-planted) is the art of aesthetic miniaturization of trees, or of developing woody or semi-woody plants shaped as trees, by growing them in containers. Cultivation includes techniques for shaping, watering, and re-potting in various styles of containers. "Bonsai" is a Japanese pronunciation of the earlier Chinese term penzai. A "bon" is a tray-like pot typically used in bonsai culture. The word bonsai is used in the West as an umbrella term for all miniature trees in containers or pots. Suiseki, viewing stones, Chinese scholars' stones, and rock penjing are included in this category. They all deal with the appreciation of naturally created (as distinct from carved) stones of relatively small size. If you could call it a boulder, it probably wouldn't qualify as a suiseki. These stones are appreciated for what they suggest visually, rather than for the monetary value of their mineral content.


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