I am a sporadic student of ikebana - it is all dependent on my flower orders. I always learn so much when I go and I think it is having a positive effect on my work. It is a study for a lifetime and occasionally I get a glimpse of what it is all about.
Anyway, yesterday the practice was shoka shimputai. 3 different types of materials in a line, front to back with a couple of inches of clean stem showing above the rim of the vase. I bought some wonderful arrowhead shaped anthirium leaves and had the yellow ranuculus on hand. My teacher grows black pussy willow which I am trying to root so I can grow it myself.
The large leaf is of course the star, but the pussy willow and the ranuculus are fine supporting players.