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. […]
This striking rhizomatous Begonia is an easy keeper in the terrarium. It can grow to 8″ tall, with leaves 2″ wide and 4″ or so long. It was originally collected by Rekha Morris in Northern India. The stems are quite long on this one. The foliage, even from clone, displays a marked degree of difference in color. Some of the leaves are almost entirely silver, others have the typical purple/brown on one side, and others have somewhat random looking spots […]
This Melastome popped up in a tank of Ecuadorian Marcgravias and grew from seed. It’s about 2 years old now and stands 4″ tall. The leaves are broad but not very sturdy. After a year of growth, it was looking great, but then gradually the older leaves began to brown and rot off. With some monthly dilute fertilizer, it has bounced back and is growing again. On a few occasions I have tried importing Melastomes from Ecuador, they have done […]
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 cannot say […]
Sonerila are a diverse group of plants in the Melastomaceae family distinguished by having flowers with three petals (as opposed to five for most other plants in this group). There seems to be alot of variation within a species, and so the ID of aff.heterostemon is a guess. It could also be cantonensis, or something else entirely. Sonerilas are an Asian genus that make excellent terrarium plants. This species is very robust and easily kept provided it does not dry […]
This unique looking Begonia has an almost alien-like iridescence. Leaves are purple-green with bright green spotting and red undersides. It is a trailing species and will grow quickly if given space and high humidity. It is found in Laos and Thailand.
While reading up on this species, I came across this bit of information in a paper published by C.W.Lin & C.I Peng, “Material collected on recent expeditions to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi…There are 46 currently accepted Begonia species reported from the island (see Thomas et al., 2013, continuously updated), more than half of which have been described since 2005.” 23 new species since 2005, more than one per year just from this region! This Begonia was newly described in […]