“You're only old when you think you're old.” ― Elizabeth Langdon
This massive ficus bonsai at the Crespi Bonsai Museum doesn't know it, but it is thought to be the oldest bonsai tree in the world. An estimated 1,000 years old. Incredible, isn't it?
It is displayed in a glass pagoda with other tropical/subtropical specimens. It is an ōgata-bonsai, 310 cm tall and 280 cm wide. It purchased and shipped to Italy in 1986 by Luigi Crespi, who exhibited the tree at the Euroflora Fair in Genova. It received the fair's prestigious “Honour Prize”, given by a jury of international experts. The tree has been styled by many generations of Chinese masters, then by Japanese master Shotaro Kawahara. It is now cared for by Luigi Crespi and Alberto Lavazza.
This millenary Ficus retusa Linn is the main tree on display, although there are many others at the museum - trees styled by Japanese masters as Kato, Kawamoto, Kawahara and Ogasawara, including a rare Acer palmatum kashima, a very old Juniperus chinensis, a pinus pentaphylla (var. miyajima), and a taxus cuspidata by Mount Ishizuchi. The grounds include an impressive Japanese garden with koi ponds, viewing stones and stone lanterns.
If you ever get to the Milan area, you can see it for yourself. The Crespi Bonsai Museum is located at Milano, MI, Lombardia, [Nord], Corso Sempione, 35, 20015 S. Lorenzo di Parabiago (Mi).
Monday 2.30 - 7.00 p.m
Tuesday to Saturday 9.00-12.30, 2.30-7.00 p.m.
Admission: 4,00 €
You can see some more of this museum by checking out this blog post by Kath Hughes. If you get to Italy and have a chance to see it, say Saluti for me.