The Satsuki Society of Australasia Inc.
Some Satsuki Varieties

Satsuki are grown and available in most Australian States but the varieties have been a bit limited.
Often the wrong names are given them – the name Gumpo seems to cover most things that growers have difficulty in categorising.

We will start off with some very basic varieties and explain a little about their character and culture as we go on. This is only a beginning and we shall build up the numbers to aid everyone in identification as we go along.

Kinsai: (Distinguished Gold)( This is often referred to as Rhododendron Indicum delicatessimum in nurseries! ) It is one of the narrow leafed varieties that survives Australia’s variable climate quite well. Most narrow leafed varieties are susceptible to heat but this is an exception to the rule ( most narrow leafed varieties come from the cooler parts of Honshu ). The narrow petals of the flower give an orange red haze instead of the rather solid weight of the normal flower. The Japanese call this type of flower Saizaki. Normal flowers occasionally develop but should not be allowed to dominate.
It is easy to grow in that it is not brittle as Azaleas go, develops a nice Cinnamon coloured trunk, responds to feeding and is easy to wire and shape.

Kinsai Moyogi style

Kokinsai: (Small Kinsai) ( no longer listed in the Tochinoha Shobo Satsuki Dictionary ) is a very tiny leafed and finer flowered sport of Kinsai which is available in the ACT and WA now. This also grows vigorously and would make very nice small bonsai ( Shohin and Mame size ).


Komei: (Brilliant Light) A cross between Kozan and Tamaorihime. It is to be found in most states, is a great subject for bonsai and a wonderful shrub as it produces so much variety in the blooms, has small leaves, compact growth and grows vigorously producing many shoots to choose from. It certainly occurs in Victoria, Act and WA. I got my base plant from Ted Poynton’s Nursery in Melbourne – at the time I thought it was something else but had it named accurately by friends in Japan. ( AR )

Komei satsuki azalea Komei satsuki azalea Komei satsuki azalea Komei satsuki azalea

Osakazuki: (Large Sake Cup) This is an old, old variety. It has a plain purplish red flower and is a strong grower, though it does not like being cut into heavily. The leaves are quite narrow and there are several variants quite well established here in Australia.



Chinzan: (Rare Mountain) This most choice variant is a sport of Osakazuki and has a finer leaf and growth.



Yochio: This may well be an even finer leaved sport of Chinzan as they are very similar but for the foliage.



Morozumi san: This is a seedling of Osakazuki grown by Eiji Morozumi of ‘Japanese Landscaping’ WA which has a slightly more purplish tinge in the flower, grows vigorously and has a slightly finer leaf than its parent. Morozumi san also gets good winter colour in the leaves, they go quite a deep reddish colour. The others don't.


Osakazuki

Chinzan

Yochio

Yochio

Issho no Haru: (Spring of one life) This is a sport of Yamato no Hikari. Readily available throughout most of Australia it has large sized showy pink flowers with many variations. This has to be handled with great care as it is more brittle than most. The best method is to wire it while the new growth is green, but be warned new growth comes away from the old very easily.


Issho no Haru


Gyoten: ( Dawn Sky ) A sport of Kaho. Kaho is a very old variety that I haven’t seen in Australia. Gyoten is readily available, at least in WA but is mostly mispronounced in the nurseries. They call it Goyten ( as in BOY ) where in actual fact it is pronounced Gee-o-ten. Two quite different things as there is a non-Satsuki Azalea called Goyet.
As Azaleas go it is fairly supple, the flower is large and it grows quite vigorously. Many of the larger flowering varieties are best grown either as a tall plants or very short but with a thick trunk. The latter requires some years of growing-on either in the ground or in a large pot.

Gyoten satsuki azalea

Blue Moon: From Nuccio’s nurseries in California and officially called Nuccio’s Blue Moon, this is readily available in most nurseries, stands up to heat well and is very suitable for developing as a bonsai. It is great for beginners and experienced growers alike. It is quite flexible and easy to grow. This is a must in any collection.


Blue Moon

 


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