"Chabana (茶花, literally "tea flowers") is the simple but elegant style of flower arranging for Japanese tea ceremony. It has its origins in the Ikebana style of flower arranging which is in turn firmly seated in both Shintō (神道) and Buddhism (仏教).
A less formal style of Ikebana (生け花, literally “living flowers”) arrangement was added to the more stylized rikka (立花, literally “standing flowers”) arrangement and was called nageire (投げ入れ), or thrown in style. This new style had fewer rules and appealed to those who were searching for a more simple and natural look. Early tea masters used the nageire style until it further divided into the seika (生花), pure chabana, tea flower, styles. The chabana style, with no formal written rules, became the standard style of arrangement for Chanoyu (茶の湯, japanese tea ceremony).
The chabana arrangement is a seasonal expression of flowers placed in a simple vase or basket. The materials for the vases range from bronze to both glazed and unglazed ceramics as well as bamboo, glass and other materials. When arranging chabana the host first selects the flowers and then an appropriate vase. No props are used as in Ikebana and the finished arrangement of flowers should evoke a feeling similar to what one feels in the natural garden setting.
There are flowers which are considered inappropriate for chabana. They are referred to as kinka (禁花), literally “forbidden flowers.” According to the Genshoku Chadō Daijiten (原色茶道大辞典), they are flowers with unpleasant names, unpleasant odors, strong odors, no clear seasonality, and blooms which are long-lasting.
text from wikipedia (japanese names added by me)
photos by B. Lennart Persson, Katie and Nicki Kaoru