March 5, 2011

Chasen-bai (Asplenium trichomanes) flowers in Tokei-ji

This unique Ume tree is called "Chasen-bai" (i.e. Chasen-ume) because the unfolded fine stamens of its small flower (about 1.5 cm in diameter) resemble the shape of a "chasen."

A "chasen" is a bamboo-made tea-whisk for a traditional tea ceremony, which is used to mix powdered green tea ("matcha") and hot water in a tea bowl ("chawan".)

This delicate flower must be one of the living gems of spring in this tranquil garden.

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