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Eastern Nurseries





Display Your Green and Variegated Rhapis.


The "Nishiki" pots from Japan, are special in that they are  hand painted and enamelled in layers of colourful artwork by well known Japanese artists! The bowl shape has been specifically designed for the growth of a Rhapis and the specially crafted style is for the koten engei, which is  the display of the Miniature Green and Variegated Rhapis palm.


Pots Now Available

These pots were sourced from one of Japan's oldest ceramic suppliers, who have been producing this style of pot since the early 1700's. The artwork on each pot is individually hand painted by well respected Japanese artists and this is reflected in the price. A black unmarked pot, which is made of fine raku clay and has a wafer insert, is the simplest form. The price of the pot almost triples once the gold leaf has been applied to the rim and feet. Add some dots the price increases, add some waves and the price leaps again. This continues to happen until the Nishiki Pot has become a work of art at which time it is often signed by the artist.


 Nishiki  translates from Japanese into English as "brocade picture"!




What is 'koten engei'?


The Japanese are well known for their appreciation of domesticated plants and animals and for their tendency to collect and revere even the most extreme variants and mutations.


In their culture, there is a term 'koten engei', which refers to the display or exhibition of prize specimens in their collections and through this process determining the relative value of specific mutations. It is also a way of honouring outstanding specimens. Koten engei is popular in the plant world with species such as the dwarf Rhapis, Orchids, Clivias and Rohdea. Often these are dwarf/miniature, variegated, contorted, and in other words, extremely different to what is seen as normal for that species. Many are so "challenged" they require special care to thrive.


And while the Japanese enjoy collecting rare varieties, they also greatly value the excellent 'individuals' of these rare specimens. In many cases the perfect example is not something inbred but is the result of a little luck, a lot of care and breeding skill. Superior individual plants are highly prized in Japan because owning and displaying such an item brings great pride and respect to the owner. The more difficult the mutation is to grow or breed the more valuable it is. The plants taken from the parent can have a higher or lesser degree of the variegation!


The colourful Japanese koi (fish) and finch (bird), are the same. Excellently marked specimens can cost thousands of dollars. Yet, in many cases, it is the random but desirable colour pattern that drives up the value of the specific fish/bird even though it is unlikely that any progeny will have the same colour pattern.


Fortunately, the members of the plant kingdom are more reliable!








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