Pinus parviflora 'Kokuho' / Kokuho Japanese white pine

Pinus parviflora 'Kokuho' is a irregular globose selection of Japanese white pine with dense, uniform branching; and soft, pale-green needles that grow with a slight twist, and measure around 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. Foliar buds have a reddish cast that attractively stand out against the needles in winter and spring. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 3 feet (1 m) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 2 to 3 inches (5 - 7.5 cm).

This cultivar originated long ago in Japan and was described in international Bonsai periodicals from the mid-1970s onward. In the Japanese language Kokuho (国保) loosely translates into National Treasure. The term is also seen used as a trademark for a popular brand of rice, as well as the Japanese National Healthcare System.

Pinus parviflora 'Kokuho' — a specimen in a private garden in Poland.
Photo by Lucas Holub