The National Begonia Society
HOME PAGE    SOCIETY    SHOWS    MEMBERS GALLERY    DIARIES    MAP  
 CULTURAL     REGISTER OF VARIETIES     POTS & BLOOMS     UPDATES     LINKS

.

.


CULTURAL DIARY   2016

Tim Jemmott

Begonia Species

.

October

Itís coming up to end of October and Iím thinking about bringing in Begonia Luxurians from the garden where itís been since early May. Iím surprised I have got so far through the year without mentioning this plant before.

The late Christopher Lloyd formerly gardening correspondent for the Guardian and author was a great fan of Begonia Luxurians and recommended its use as summer bedding.  It can still be seen in his garden at Great Dixter.

It can be planted directly into a border or put out in a large pot.  When taking back inside for the winter remember to check the pot and the plant for unwanted visitors.  Slugs and snail love to hitch a ride into the greenhouse.  A sprinkle of slug pellets is probably a good idea for the ones that are hiding.

It is hardy to 5oC [some people report that they manage to over winter it outside in the UK see; www.growingontheedge.net], however, to keep it growing over the winter you will need to keep it at temperatures over 10oC.  A frost free greenhouse should be ideal.  I find this plant grows best, for me, outside.  I think my conditions can get a bit too warm for it.  It can be grown in full sun light, although, will probably prefer a partially shaded position.  It likes to be kept moist, but, not wet.  Allow compost to dry out between watering.

Begonia Luxurians is a large shrub like begonia species from the Organ mountains of Brazil, a region famed for its plant diversity, especially orchids. It is an attractive plant with a large compound palmate leaf, giving it its common name ďthe palm leaf begoniaĒ.  The leaf is usually divided into 8 Ė 16 leaflets.  The dorsal surface of the leaf is green. The under surface of the leaf, petioles and stems are red.  It can grow up to 4m (13 feet) in the wild [Tebbitt 2005].  Here 6-8 feet tall is probably more achievable.  In Brazil in grows in wet forest at 1100-1700m.  In late spring it produces large inflorescence of many small cream coloured flowers which are fragrant.

I am glad to be able to say that this plant is a species Begonia that is widely available, in the UK, as plugs plant and larger specimens.  It is easily raised from seed or cuttings.

I recommend giving this spectacular species of begonia a try. 

                   
       Begonia Luxurians         

 

Diary Introduction     February     March     April     May     June     July     August & September     November     December

TOP OF PAGE

N