Mame (pronounced "Ma-May") and Shito are the smallest of bonsai, ideally being no more than 10cm in height, however Shito Bonsai can be so small that they are grown in pots the size of thimbles. Both terms refer to the size of the tree, so they may be seen in all styles. Creating a reasonable branch structure and trunk, with the larger Mame is no more difficult than with larger bonsai, however it is not practical with a Shito tree, so you may see a single leaf playing the part of an entire branch.
Adequate watering is one of the most difficult things to achieve with the really small trees, and most of the people I know who keep them, bury the pots in damp sand when not on display.
A Shito Bonsai, reproduced at actual size
Shohin are the next step up in size classification to Mame and Shito bonsai. Yet again Shohin are seen in all styles
Unlike their smaller cousins, creating a reasonable branch structure and trunk poses no problems.
A display of Mame bonsai. © Allen. C. Roffey 08:47 19/03/2005
A display of Mame bonsai.
© Allen. C. Roffey 08:47 19/03/2005