Friday, April 7, 2017

Bizarre Plants Handbook

When we were in Los Angles, in January, Andrew made sure dinner one night was in Little Tokyo, he spent a couple of years in Japan and loves the food and energy of the culture. He picked a restaurant that just happened to be right by Kinokunia Bookstore, coincidence? I think not. Luckily we browsed the magazine section and found this...

Bizarre Plants Handbook, yes please! Of course 99% is in Japanese, but the photos alone were worth the hefty $11.99 price tag. There are 129 pages devoted to all kinds of plant related topics.

I found a few interesting links online. There is this, which would seem to indicate that BRUTUS is not always about plants. There's also Straight Bizarre Books, which features photos also found in this issue, as well as other titles.

Several pages (35-ish)  are devoted to something that looks a lot like plant profiles? I'll take this one please.

And this one too!

They don't discriminate, all kinds of plants are included. I wanted to scan so many of these pages and share them with you!

The next section seems to feature a person and their plants... "Specialists"...this is #01

Still working on #01

And wrapping up #01

This 2-page spread was in another "Specialists" feature.

Those images above might belong to this gentleman, reading Japanese would be handy about now.

English words pop up every now and then, like down there in the small print in the corner, Gethyllis villosa.

I want to visit the Chatuchak Plants Market!

Those Sansevieria!

Just hangin' with my giant Bromeliad at the market...

"Know Before You Go"...

This was a fun surprise, I know that guy! Well I don't know him personally, but I've been following his adventures on the blog, Dyckia Brazil for years now.

Oh Constantino...

Four pages were devoted to crispy plants.

Agave salmiana ver. Ferox

Then there are pages and pages devoted to shops, what fun it would be to visit them all. Thankfully many of them have their name in English too, so I can look them up online.

This one, Nepenthes Tokyo is familiar, I think maybe a friend (tvojt) has previously sent me a link to their page. Sadly now I can't find it.

Love this, everything about it...why don't we have publications like this in the USA? Ya I know, you don't have to answer that question.

The end.

Weather Diary, April 6: Hi 62, Low 48/ Precip .40"

Images scanned from BRUTUS, Bizarre Plants Handbook 10.25.2016, printed in Japan. Words © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. What a fun and fascinating book! I love that four pages are devoted to the unique beauty of dried up stuff.

    1. I thought that peculiar, in a good way.

  2. Great find! Nice to know that bizarre plants are popular in any language!

  3. What a great find! It's too bad there's no way to copy scanned words into Google Translate.

    1. The Google Translate app (on iOS anyway) will use your phone's camera to translate, and will even do a "live" translation, replacing the japanese text with english (or whatever language you're most comfortable with)

    2. Okay...this sounds familiar somehow, like someone has told me about this, or I've seen it in action. I have another magazine we picked up that, I'm gonna have to investigate.

  4. Such a small world! Bizarre plants and their owners connecting over an attraction to haunting and strangely beautiful spikey plants. It would be fun to be able to read the words!

  5. Here you go:
    It's just amazing to me the things I discover perusing Japanese plant pages and IG accounts. Amazing collections and not at all surprising to me, with the country's long aesthetic history. Bilbergia 'Domingo's Martin' is on my list, as well as 'Mardi Gras'; heck, there are so many Bilbergia that are super cool and I'm trying to tell myself that I can just have one; how to choose? Of course, availability is a factor......
    I definitely would have snatched up that publication as well. Thanks for taking the time to share!

    1. Thank you! I searched and searched and could not find that! I wish you were closer and I could share the entire mag/book with you!

  6. Really great book, regardless of the language. Who really wants to *read* gardening books anyway? ;)

  7. Cool! I have a friend who goes to Thailand every other year--often thought about asking him to go to that market and send a few treasures back...

  8. Peculiar and awkward plants. Dyckia has a most fascinating pattern. Do you have one in your collection? Did you ever ordered seeds from the Brazilian gentleman?

    1. I do have a couple of Dyckia, but I've never ordered seeds. I am no good with ones that have to be babied for awhile.

  9. The Japanese aesthetic sense is incomparable. This book must be fun to browse through, at least they have the Latin names!

  10. That book was meant for you. Maurice reads Japanese...just sayin.

  11. I had no idea that I had bizarre plants in my garden. Surely he was stretching things with a few of those. I have been undervaluing my crispy agave leaves. I must give them new respect.

  12. The Japanese are incomparable in finding and developing unique, bizarre, and beautiful plants. Just search on Google for Neofinetia falcata and see how many variants they've cultivated from a single species. Not to mention all the variegated Sansevierias and other succulents. I love the plant in the upper right corner on the cover. It looks like something from an old sci-fi movie. I would love to have a Billbergia 'Domingos Martins' (5th picture) and visit the plant markets.


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