Bonsai & Penjing Collection
Welcome to the online home of the Matthaei-Nichols’ collection of bonsai and penjing.
Bonsai and penjing enjoy a rich history and tradition in Chinese and Japanese cultures and their popularity continues to grow. With their unique qualities of art, design, horticulture, and meditative gardening, bonsai and penjing each year draw thousands of new devotees around the world.
Our current collection of bonsai and penjing numbers over 40. The collection began in 1977 with a gift of core specimens from the estate of Dr. Maurice Seevers, a former director of the University of Michigan Department of Pharmacology and an ardent bonsai lover.
We’re also excited to announce the creation of a permanent, dedicated bonsai and penjing garden at Matthaei. The garden will be located behind and west of the Conservatory with an entrance from the existing perennial garden. When completed the garden will be open to the public and will showcase much more of the collection than has been previously possible.
Use the links at left to learn more about our bonsai and penjing garden and about our collection, or to explore the history, significance, and care of our trees. And be sure to visit our timeline section for a pictorial history of our featured specimens.