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Begonias

Begonia 'Fall Fashion' with autumn toned foliage, very popular.

Horticulturists have divided the begonias into many different groups based mainly on their appearance. The big flowers of tuberous begonias are the most spectacular and widely known but the species parents of these are relatively few in number among the more than 1600 species so far described. The groups are as follows:

Cane-like: also known as Tree Begonias or Angel Wings - great garden plants for Sydney

Cheimantha: known as Christmas Begonias - very few grown these days, best known is Begonia 'Love Me'

Heimalis: also known as Rieger Begonias or Elatior Begonias - great flowering plants best grown in winter as indoor plants. Long flowering period.

Rex-cultorum: also know as Rex begonias - very popular gorgeous leaved plants for pots. We have developed several excellent varieties for garden use - our most popular is B. 'Garden Beauty'.

Rhizomatous: also known as Hardy Rhizomatous in warm climates like ours. These are not Rex begonias but their leaves can be just as spectacular. Many varieties to choose from, many excellent in the garden.

Semperflorens: also known as Bedding Begonias or Wax Begonias or Thousand Wonders. Properly Semperflorens-cultorum these are fantastic garden plants that can take full sun.

Semi-tuberous: also known as Maple Leaved Begonias all coming from South Africa. The plants develop a swollen base to the stem giving rise to their name. Pretty plants with white flowers.

Shrub-like: a very diverse group of plants many that grow excellently in the garden. This group also include the Dragon Wings begonias that can grow in full sun. There are many shrub-like begonias to choose from.

Thick stem: an uncommon group that has many distinctive plants most of which have stems that do not branch freely. They mainly consist of a few upright stems with leaves at the top. Unusual, but many grow nicely in the garden.

Trailing-scandent: a lovely group of hanging basket varieties or ground covers. Great for fill in spots in the garden to suppress weeds.

Tuberous: those large flowered showy begonias most people are familiar with. They also include the "non-stop" group of begonias with smaller flowers. Beautiful but challenging plants more for the advanced grower. These are fairly intolerant of high summer temperatures such as in Sydney so tend to have a shorter growing season than cooler areas. These go dormant in winter. The new B. boliviensis hybrids like B. 'Santa Cruz' are the pendulous types which are much more tolerant of high summer temperatures. Spectacular!

Bulbous: not plants with true tunicated bulbs but bulb like tubers, only two species in the wild from islands in the Indian Ocean off Africa, B. socotrana the most well known. Uncommon and not found in collections here. These plants have parented a number of groups of begonias such as Heimalis. They are summer dormant and winter flowering.


This post was posted in Shade Plants

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Posted on January 12, 2014 by admin There have been 0 comments