RHS Garden Wisley Visitors Vote On Their Favourite Begonia / RHS Gardening


via RHS Garden Wisley visitors vote on their favourite begonia / RHS Gardening.

Begonia hemsleyana: SPECIES TALK – MARCH MEETING


Begonia hemsleyana, Bot. Mag. 125: t. 7685 (1899).
Source: Curtis Botanical Magazine; Author: Hooker

Carmel Browne presented the Species Talk on 16 March 2013.

The area of distribution of this species extends from northern Burma to the Chinese province of Yunnan in moist, upland forests.

B. hemsleyana was introduced to Kew Gardens by way of seed collected in south Yunnan in 1899. It was named in honour of William Hemsley who worked on Chinese plants at Kew at that time.

B. hemsleyana is rhizomatous, jointed at or below the soil with erect stems. The leaf blade is palmately compound, glossy green, sparsely hairy between the veins, paler green beneath with a reddish tinge. The petioles are pink with short, woolly hairs. Flowers are pink and fragrant.

I chose to speak on this species today because this is only the second time it has flowered for me. It has been described as difficult. From my experiences, I have found it requires a cool, moist, well lit situation with good air movement. Because it naturally produces short, closely spaced stems, good air circulation is essential to keep fungal diseases at bay. A well-drained premium mix that is allowed to dry between waterings suits B. hemsleyana.

B. hemsleyana, B. rex, B. pedatifida and B. circumlobata are closely related and all belong to section Platycentrum. B. hemsleyana has been successfully crossed with Rex Cultorum begonias. B. ‘Raspberry Swirl’, B. ‘Picasso’ and B. ‘Hula Skirt’ are the results of such crossings. I do not know if these have ever been grown in Australia.

Begonia parilis: SPECIES TALK – APRIL MEETING


Begonia parilis

Photographed at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney (Australia) in December.
Sourced from commons.wikimedia.org, this photo is originally from Gardenology.org.

Di Schulz presented the Species Talk on 20 April 2013.

The following was taken from a Begonian of 1968.

The stems and branches of B. parilis are soft and hairy. Its leaves are velvet-like in texture, olive-green, red at the margins and red flushed beneath. Flowers are pink or white.

From Know Your Begonias by J Krempin.

B. parilis was discovered in Brazil in 1953. It is known as the zig-zag begonia. It is thick-stemmed, grows to 1 metre with zig-zagged branches and medium, narrow, shining green leaves, red beneath. Arching clusters of white flowers with yellow stamens appear in summer.

Begonias: The Complete Reference Guide by Thompson & Thompson has this to say.

B. parilis is a versatile begonia that is attractive whether it is staked or not. Although this plant branches naturally, early pinching will produce an even fuller plant. It can be grown effectively in maximum sunlight according to the locale, or it can be grown in a semi-shady position, making an interesting foliage plant. However, it will only bloom when there is sufficient sunlight.

Begonias, Begonias


Forest Garden

I love begonias.  That may sound like a strange obsession for a “forest gardener”, but it is my strange obsession.

I remember buying a hanging basket of blooming angel wing Begonias with tiny dark burgundy and green  leaves at the  farmer’s market when I was living in a third floor walk up.  It made my small screened in porch more beautiful, and made me happy.  Since then, I’ve always had a soft spot for adding beautiful begonia plants to my collection.

There are thousands of cultivars in the genus Begonia.  Whether grown for their outrageous leaves or their abundant bright flowers, Begonias can be found from tiny to tremendous.

Begonias work in a forest garden because they appreciate shade.  Although some, like the new Dragon Wing cultivars and Begonia “Bolivienses” can take hours of sun each day, most are quite happy growing in permanent shade.  They also require very little care.  Most like to…

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Begonia ‘Dancing Girl’


Begonia ‘Dancing Girl’, American hybrid produced by Logee’s Greenhouse – Shrub-like Class

Origin: American hybrid produced by Logee’s Greenhouse in 1949

Horticultural Type: Shrub-like

Leaves: Bare leaved and medium size. This begonia is unique with unusual characteristics (April Meeting). Upper surface of leaves is mid-green with a variety of silver spots and splashes and varies also in the shape and margins. Under surface has maroon shading with pronounced maroon veins. This begonia is sometimes said to have no two leaves the same.

Flowers: Carmine-rose , but sparse

Propagation: Stem cutting

Begonia ‘Rosie’


Begonia ‘Rosie’ won 1st PRIZE – Cane-like Class

Origin: Chance seedling

Horticultural Type: Cane-like

Stems: Green

Leaves: Light to mid-green – generously spotted

Petioles: Green

Flowers: Large clusters, snow white

Propagation: Stem cutting

Begonia ‘Rosie’ won 1st PRIZE – Cane-like Class

and a SPECIAL AWARD

 

Propagating Cane Begonias


Betty Vander Poorten (10)
Doing it my way!

I take tip cutting about 12-13cm (5in.) in length. Always go to a node which has not flowered. This hopefully will give you a nicely shaped plant. If you cut at a node which has flowered, the plant will not branch.

My propagating mix for canes is potting mix 80%, perlite 20%. I have also used straight vermiculite with great success. I always use striking powder, a habit from nursery days in Victoria because I believe it to be beneficial. Lots of growers do not use this powder.

August for me is the best time to do cuttings, but I have had success in autumn before the cold weather sets in. On an east facing wall I have large terracotta pots filled with lovely canes which get sun till midday in summer – the more sun, the better the flowering.

In August I cut back to four nodes in the centre of the plant and three around the edge. This gives a lovely flowering plant by the end of November/December. Fertilise with Osmocote Plus. If things are working your way …. Don’t change!