Steganotaenia araliacea (Carrot Tree) is a native of South Africa and is related to the Carrot family. It's an intriguing plant with the crushed leaves having a distinctive carrot-like scent. The leaflets are pinnately compound with each one having a heavily toothed shape. The small, green to greenish-white flowers grow in umbels when the trees are without leaves.
For bonsai, this species forms a swelled trunk base with a mature height of 10-20 feet. It is moderately tolerant of water, although it handles dry conditions extremely well and prefers full sun exposure. The bark is yellowish gray-green and often peels off in papery strips. Steganotaenia araliacea is an excellent plant for hot and dry gardens and demonstrates great durability on steep, northern facing slopes.
When grown in a pot, the Carrot Tree ensures ornamental foliage and drought resistance. In colder regions, this species can sustain mature cold hardiness up to 30s F for a short time. Taking proper care of the Carrot Tree is key for bonsai success. Ensure adequate and full sun exposure, moderate water and dry conditions. In winter, avoid overwatering and water only when soil appears dry. Fertilize lightly in summer and ensure the root ball has sustained enough water. Consider using greenhouse protection when temperatures drop to dangerous levels and ensure the Carrot Tree is appropriately pruned for adequate air circulation.