• Collecting Begonia Seed

    This article is meant as an introduction to collecting Begonia seed, primarily for those who are new to identifying flower parts and collecting seed.  I have only been doing this

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  • Vasya’s greenhouse AKA paradise

    Let me start off by saying that Vasya is one of the most humble and kind people I have ever met. He is incredibly generous with his plants and time. 

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Calvoa sessiflora

This pretty Melastomaceae has freckled leaves and a tendency to create little beads of moisture on its leaf surfaces.  At first it may look like pest damage, but it is not.  Other Melastomes sometimes to this as well, including Monolena primulifolia.  C. sessifolia can develop into a small bush around 18″, but is easy to trim back to a smaller

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Phyllagathis cavaleriei

This Melastomaceae hails from China and only reaches 7-8 inches.  It is easy to grow and well suited to terrarium culture, although it may be able to survive in an open-air environment.  It slightly resembles Peperomia, with its rounded leaves and rosette-forming habits.  New growth is bright red, and older leaves are dark green.  All leaves possess white spotting along

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Cosmianthemum sp. 

This genus has only recently started to become available out of Asia, and offers some excellent species for the terrarium. This one has reached 6″ or so for me,  It’s possible it could reach a larger size with time, and based on its growth habit I think it stays very small. Plants flower readily when they have 4-6 leaves.  The

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Arthrostemma parvifolium

Arthrostemma parvifolium is a a Melastome that occurs from Mexico to El Salvador, and is wonderfully suited to terrarium culture.  It often stays under 12″ but can get at least 18″ in some growing conditions.  It forms a small bush and beautiful pink magenta flowers that are easy to pollinate and produce a lot of seed. The seed pod and

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Late Bloomers

Most rhizomatous species when kept indoors (and kept on a natural photoperiod) tend to bloom over the winter.  The species below were mostly grown from leaves this past Fall, so are on a different rhythm than the rest of the plants. Begonia ignita, with its strange orange male flowers.  It produces many flowers at once, with an incredible amount of

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Begonia cathayana seedlings

This past fall I started collecting seeds from some of my Begonias, something that I would not have been able to do without the help of Randy Kerr and Stephanie Willis.  So, thank you both, for all your help and patience!  I’m awful at following directions, so am especially grateful for the help that I have received within the Begonia

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Begonia sp. Julau

This is a Begonia collected in Jalau, a small town in Sarawak (Borneo). It has been making the rounds in Asia for the past year or two but has not been sold in number in the United States.  It is a taller species that is prone to falling over when it reaches a certain height (the magic number for my

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Begonia ‘Freda’

This Begonia was hybridized by Freda Holly, a longtime Begonia keeper and an excellent hybridizer.  She has written many articles for the American Begonia Society as well as a book titled ‘Begonia Hybridizing by the Begonia hybridizers.’ This is far and away my favorite hybrid of all time, of any genus of plant.  It doesn’t look like a hybrid to

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Begonia promethea (syn. beccarii)

Begonia promethea (syn. beccarii) was originally discovered in 1906 by Henry Ridley, who said that it was “perhaps the most worthy of cultivation among the Bornean species.” More than 100 years since it’s discovery, it was rediscovered by Michael Lo (who posts about his forays on facebook and instagram).  Promethea and beccarii are now synonymous, and, per the etiquette of

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Nautilocalyx erytranthus

This species was newly described in 2014 and occurs throughout Western Amazonia in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.  It grows in small patches (10-15 plants) in shady areas of mature forest. The epithet erytranthus refers to the red flowers.  Due to drilling in Yasuni park where this plant occurs its conservation status has been suggested by its founder to be redesignated to NT.

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