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 is a new Begonia species to the hobby, still unidentified to my knowledge, from West Kalimantan in Borneo. Here is the plant newly propagated via leaf cutting, growing in sphagnum. Update this Begonia is turning out to be a real stunner! After switching it out of sphag and into a soil mix, it has tripled in size in about two months and is about to flower. I talk about sphagnum conspiracy here, involving nutritional deficiencies with Begonias kept on […]
B. metallicolor is in the Petermannia section, and is native to Padawan, Sarawak, Borneo. It resembles B. nagaensis in the iridescence, but the flowers differ. Like B. darthvaderiana, metallicolor is found in low elevation dipterocarp forest. It is a rather small species, growing to just under 12 inches, but it often stays smaller. The leaves are strongly iridescent and can appear blue, teal, green, and even purple. The plant below seems to be doing well, but also has some sort […]
This cane-like Begonia derives its name from amphi, meaning two ways, and oxys, meaning sharp. It refers to the strange leaves being pointed at two ends. It is native to only two limestone hills in Sabah (Batu Punggul and Tinahas). Leaves are edged in a reddish-purple and covered in red dots which are subtly raised at the center. Mature leaves have a slightly undulated edge, but new leaves are more dramatically undulated with a yellow leaf underlying the red dots. […]
Begonia chlorosticta is a species from central Sarawak where is grows in lowland dipterocarp forest. It can be found on rocky slopes and damp cliffs at 450m elevation. Originally collected in 1967 and introduced into cultivation, it has since developed a reputation of being challenging to keep. I can attest to this, as I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to re-obtain it due to sudden melting episodes. It was given the designation U038 before being formally identified. For […]
Some of the newly available Asian species to the US are Elatostema species, a rarely seen genus in the terrarium hobby. This one is from Borneo, and so far has been an easy, albeit, slow species. The leaves have a sticky texture, although no secretions are given off, and no discernible residue is left on the skin. It’s intensely corrugated leaves have reached about 4″ long thus far, but I’ve not had it more than a year so I cannot […]
This Argostemma is from SE Asia, and miraculously can be grown from a small leaf fragment. The first few leaves are solid green, and then subsequent ones are this white silver color. The largest plants I’ve seen of this species are around 8″, but it is not a commonly grown species and not much is know about it.
This Begonia species is new to cultivation as of 2019. I’ve not been growing it long, so I cannot say for certain how large it gets. The leaves thus far have only reached about 3″. They are serrated and covered in white spots (as many of the Begonias from this region seem to be). The texture of the leaves is beautiful, although I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. So far it has been an easy species to grow […]