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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.

Thick stemmed

Thick-stemmed varieties are less commonly grown. They usually have one or two thick upright stems, and do not tend to branch naturally. They are difficult to train into an attractive plant., but a bit of pinching can encourage fuller growth. If you grow plants from this category make your choice of varieties carefully, some can grow quite large.Thick-stems require plenty of light, but avoid direct midday sunlight as it can burn the foliage. Plants grown in insufficient light will be weak, with soft stems and few flowers.

Temperature: Fairly tolerant, 60 to 75 degrees is ideal.

Humidity 40 to 70%

Feed regularly with a weak balanced fertilizer.

B.johnstonii.

A native of Africa, discovered in 1886. A distinctive species begonia easily recognised by the scalloped margins outlined in maroon on its bright green leaves. It is a rather shy bloomer, flowers are pink, and sprawl rather carelessly from the stem. It is a tall grower, reaching 3 to 4ft with stout stems that do not branch naturally. It is most difficult to train into an attractive plant. Pinch early to induce branching. Needs bright light, and warmth in winter. Beware of over watering, good drainage is essential, and it is another that is prone to mildew. It can be propagated by seed, stem or leaf cuttings.
 
My plants were grown from ABS seed. Think of this one as a challenge.

B.paranaensis 

Found in Brazil in 1944 this large-leaved, thick-stemmed species is certainly true to its classification.  Not a handsome plant by any means, but interesting to grow nevertheless. As you can see from the photograph, it has a trunk-like main stem. Leaves are very large, with a long space between nodes. A mature leaf can be 1ft or more. White flowers are produced freely in spring. Cut it down to about 3in above soil level to control height. It will shoot again from the bottom. Very easy to propagate from tip cuttings.

Cane like      Rhizomatous      Shrub-like      Tuberous / Semi tuberous      Rex cultorum
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