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 me, which is why it appeals. It is also very easy to grow and does well in open air or […]
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 scientific nomenclature, the original name is the one that sticks. B. promethea is in the section Petermania and is only […]
This hybrid is a cross between B. alice-clarkiae X B. imperialis var. brunnea. It was created in 1975 by Rudy Ziesenhenne and named after a former member of the ABS Santa Barbara branch. It has a reputation for being more challenging, but so long as its given high humidity it seems to be an easy keeper. If given too much light it is prone to looking rather washed out.
This exceptional hybrid is a cross between rajah and goegoensis. It has kept the leaf shape and size of goegoensis but taken some color and leaf structure from rajah. Depending on conditions, the leaves can range from a pinkish-red to deep purple. It is vigorous but prefers terrarium conditions. It can be grown as a houseplant if humidity is higher (about 60%).
This Central American species is easily distinguished by the red leaf spot marking the point where the leaf attaches to the petiole. It is a compactly growing rhizomatous species that grows to 6-8 inches. This species can be grown as a houseplant or a terrarium plant. I have my mother plant in an east-facing window and it is not too much light. The flowers are white and stand on a tall flower stalk above the plant. The flowers, a bit […]
This plant has been sold in Asia under the name ‘versicolor red and black’, however, I have not seen any evidence of flowers to confirm this. It is a newer species to cultivation, whatever it is. It does resemble versicolor in the compact growth habit, but it grows its rhizome in more of a trailing way than other versicolor forms. The leaves maintain their beautiful color, getting darker with maturity. The new growth is a bright reddish-pink, as are the […]
This Begonia was introduced by Don Miller in the 90’s from Penang Botanical Garden in Malaysia. It is an easy grower, and makes a stunning terrarium or house plant, although it grows more vigorously in high humidity. The leaf edges have a subtle pink tint to them, and the uppermost part of the stem where it attaches to the leaf is pink. The leaf veins are dark green, with the rest of the leaf being a striking silver. Despite its […]