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Species & Hybrids
This page is presented by Society Vice Chairman Jeff Rhodes.

Species
Species are botanical plants that grow naturally. When a species begonia is crossed with another of the same variety the resulting plants will come true.
Hybrids
Hybrids are the result of crossing two different varieties. The only way to reproduce a hybrid is by vegetative means.

Rhizomatous

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A group of begonias that produce thickened stems or rhizomes. These can creep along the surface, grow erect, or creep under the surface. They are a large group and need a variety of cultural environments. The following is a general guide.

Light: Light shade and no full sun. Too little light will give spindly growth and too much will give yellow foliage and poor plant development.

Temperature:  A temperature of 55 to 65F.

Humidity:  They prefer a moderate humidity range between 40 and 70%

Compost: Rhizomatous begonias like a well-drained compost. They will rot if it is wet and soggy.

Feeding: Feed with a balanced fertilizer as long as the plants are active.

Propagation: Will root easily from a piece of  rhizome or a leaf petiole.
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B.nelumbiifolia

An upright rhizomatous species. It has large round-ovate peltate leaves. This was one of the first peltate-leaved species. It was discovered in Mexico in 1830. Flowers appear late winter to spring on tall erect forking cymes, and are white with a pink edge. This is one I grew from seed obtained from the American Begonia Society

B.Cathedral

A small leaved hybrid rhizomatous begonia introduced in 1966. This begonia has an unusual thick, twisted leaf with a crested margin. Clusters of pink flowers are held well above the foliage on long flat stems

B.masoniana

A rhizomatous species, introduced from China in 1959. More commonly known as “The Iron Cross Begonia” It is one of the easiest begonias to identify due to its unusual leaf marking. Large, green, pustulate leaves with chocolate coloured iron cross pattern. It needs good drainage. Filtered light to include morning or late afternoon sun. Must be allowed to dry out between watering to prevent root rot. Keep just moist in winter. Feed a balanced feed with alternating high potash in late winter. Greenish white flowers April to August. Propagate by rhizome or petiole.

B.'Norah Bedson'                NEW      

A medium leaved rhizomatous hybrid begonia. One of the eyelash types of begonia raised in 1962 by F.J.Bedson, founder president of The National Begonia Society. A cross from B.bowerae x B.daedalea. Very easy to grow. Can be grown to maturity in a 5” pot and can be less than 6” tall. It has bright green leaves with chocolate markings and lots of pink flowers held well above the foliage from winter through to spring.

Cane like      Shrub-like      Tuberous / Semi tuberous      Thick stemmed      Rex cultorum
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