Flowers and Ikebana

Yamabuki: The Golden Mountain Breeze

Yamabuki or Kerria japonica is a shrub native to China, Japan, and Korea. It belongs to the rose family and often times called as Mountain Rose. It has bright yellow small flowers which also represent the yellow color of gold. If translated, yamabuki means mountain breath. Yama means mountain, bu means breath, and ki means gold. This shrub spreads widely in the mountains, riverside, and gorges. In late spring, its flowers beautifully paint the mountains in bright yellow. This flower is often used in Japanese literature especially in haiku. On the other hand, its yellow bright color served as reference when describing the gold plates during Edo period.


Yamabuki Highlighted in Ikebana

When I was choosing my materials for my online Ikebana class last Saturday, the fine woody stems of this plant caught my attention. At that time, I was searching for a good sample material for a basic Nageire arrangement. Since I have quite a lot of materials left from my session, I decided to make some Ikebana arrangements for our home. It was my first time to use yamabuki. For some reasons, we never had it in our flower set during our regular Ikebana class in Seishincho.

I was amazed how it can transform usually small/medium arrangement into a big one. Its fine stems extend graciously as if the small flowers are floating.  And because of that, I made a couple of arrangements highlighting this plant. For both arrangements, I imagined how the wind blows through the stems, leaves, and flowers of yamabuki in the mountains. Space between the fresh materials are also highlighted to give a cool refreshing image.


The first arrangement was the one I created during my online Ikebana class with my student from Nairobi. The second one, on the other hand, is now seating beautifully on our dining table.

Basic Nageire Arrangement Using Yamabuki, Yellow Carnations, and White Spirea


Yamabuki with Dracena Leaves and White Spirea


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