Foemina Juniper, Juniperus chinensis ‘Foemina.’ Poetic name: Goshin. Size: 49 inches. Estimated age: 70 years.
This is probably the most famous bonsai in the United States. In 1953 bonsai artist John Y. Naka, of Los Angeles, California, selected a Foemina juniper for his first demonstration. Soon he added two more Foemina junipers to his collection. Naka remembered a Japanese cryptomeria forest growing near a shrine in Japan and wanted to emulate its majesty in a forest bonsai. He combined the three junipers to make a forest and soon added others to create a seven-tree planting. He chose a poetic name, Goshin, Japanese for “protector of the spirit.” In the initial forest, each of the seven trees represented one of his grandchildren. By 1976 Naka had four additional grandchildren, and Goshin had grown into an eleven-tree bonsai forest.