This is a very unusual species of tree to use as a bonsai and is from the Rhamnacea family. It is named after the Dutch botanist Berthout van Berchem and has some great characteristics that lend themselves to bonsai.It is a climbing plant with a small to medium sized growth form and there are a wide range of species within the Berchemia genus and the flower and fruit colours vary depending on the species. It would make a useful shohin or mame size tree in a range of styles including semi cascade.

There are a variety of common names including Red ivory wood, Purple ivory and Pink ivory. They originate from Africa and Asia and have attractive small ovate fruits which are a source of food for birds.

The bark appearance when developed has a rough texture, flaking and slightly corky but it smooth on young trees. The new shoots are reddish in colour and the autumn colour is good. They are flowering trees that have star like flowers, formed in clusters on stalks, then followed by the small fruit.



  • Wikipedia
  • Plantzafrica
  • Hoka-En Bonsai studio