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mai khen (ไม้เขน)

Thai. ‘Shield tree’. A small, manipulated tree or shrub, with a bare, straight to S- or Z-shaped trunk. It has a very rough bark, dark brown in colour and with knobs and greyish fissures near the base. Like most bonsai-like trees, it has bare branches, that only have bushes of foliage at their outermost tips, preferably globular in shape. The branches have been manipulated to grow with sharp, angular bends, making them -depending from which angle they are viewed- nearly ϟ-shaped, like wooden thunderbolts. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.