11th Australian Begonia Convention, Mandurah, Western Australia on 28,29,30 March 2014

Please visit the Begonia Society of Western Australia Inc. for detail.


Begonia Conservation, Species Identification and Begoniaceae Keys

Click here to contact SoundEagleSoundEagle says: This is an excerpt reproduced from the journal of the American Begonia Society, The Begonian, as recommended by Mr Peter Henderson to SoundEagle.

Conservation Chairman, ABS

It’s time for a change.

There have been three recent events, that combined, will force a readjustment in one element of the ongoing “Conservation Program”. Let me explain.

First, I have recently reviewed the “traffic” on the Astro web site and find the consolidated listings of begonia pictures are the most popular pages for web site visitors. For those who have followed the evolution of this web site, they realize that since inception, about three years ago, the Astro web site has grown in size from about 10 pages and 50 pictures, to its present size of over 175 pages and over 1800 pictures. This information covers two national conventions, two South West Region (SWR) conventions, several ABS Board meetings, numerous branch meetings, several private begonia collections, a review of the Uxxx species, and pictures from Scott Hoover’s explorations in Indonesia. Throughout this time, the web site has featured each event, as it happened, along with numerous pictures of plants and people. Finally, the best pictures of individual plants were consolidated into three files, featuring cultivars, species, and the Uxxx species. These are the popular ones, and I surmise that people are viewing these collections of photographs to help identify their plants.

Second, for the past six months I have been developing species description information, in preparation for the “Begonia Description and Use of the Begoniaceae Keys” workshop at the August ’03 SWR meeting. This work includes a large number of botanical “characteristic terms” which describe begonia plants, created a glossary of over 500 descriptive terms that are needed to use the keys. All of this information is in the Workbook to be published in conjunction with the workshop. Now, having this information in one place, encourages me to put it to use describing as many species as possible.

Third, I have recently been unpleasantly surprised with the number of species plants that I have seen, or have bought into my collection, that are misnamed. Many times the names are only misspelled, but sometimes they are not even close, obviously describing an entirely different variety. It seems that many members have no reliable means of checking the identification of plants, so misidentifications are just passed along to the next member receiving a plant or cutting.

All of the above leads me to the conclusion that we need an easier way to identify species plants and we need to disseminate this information as broadly as possible. To that end, I am going to revise some of the Astro web site to emphasize species identification. The major tool will still be color photographs of plants, but added attention will be given to individual leaves and to inflorescence and flowers. Further, a section will be devoted to describing the plant parts in botanical terms, following the examples presented in the “Begonia Description … ” workbook. Because of space limitations, some older web pages will be eliminated to make room for the new work.

This approach has its problems, in that we must be certain of an identification before putting it on the web site as the “real McCoy”. This last consideration will undoubtedly make the task more difficult, more time consuming, and may require the help of numerous members. We will start with varieties whose identify is obvious, like B. rajah, and work our way toward the more difficult species like B. sericoneura, with its numerous synonyms. The concept of synonyms itself adds another important variable to the equation, which must be addressed.

Finally, this project will require considerable time to make real progress. The time frame is obviously dictated by the calendar because of plant blooming. The species to be covered in this activity will come from past and future shows, from private collections, and from the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. I invite you to visit the Astro web site over the next year or so to view the transformation, as it takes place.

The web address is http://absastro.tripod.com.


Begonia, yang Indah dan Berkhasiat

Click here to contact SoundEagleSoundEagle translates from Indonesian into English:

Begonia that can be found in West Sumatra (photo: naturasumatrana)

Begonia, which is beautiful and Efficacious

Single Nawa | Kompas.com, 29 April 2013

A total of 313 species of begonia collection in the Eka Karya Bedugul Botanical Garden, Bali, has now become the most comprehensive in the world and easily enjoyed in a begonia garden measuring 700 square meters. The begonia is the only plant with asymmetrical leaves, as well as an ornamental plant that has not been much observed. Begonia (Begoniaceae) as an ornamental plant in Indonesia is not yet popular. However, this plant is in great demand in several countries to the extent that many associations are formed by begonia fans,” said Hartutiningsih, a begonia researcher at the Center for Plant Conservation at the Bogor Botanical Garden, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), beginning in April 2013, at the Eka Karya Bedugul Botanical Garden, Bali.
Specific characteristics of the leaf blade that is asymmetrical (begoniifolia) is one of the exotic traits of begonias, in addition to the forms and colours. Begonias in nature grow wild in watery habitats near rivers. Various types of begonias are also easily found around waterfalls. Begonia diversity in the world is estimated to be 1,600 species, distributed in the tropics and subtropics. According to Hartutiningsih, there are more than 200 types of begonias in Indonesia. There are 15 types of natural begonia known in Java; Sumatra (35), Borneo (40), Sulawesi (20) and Papua (70). Begonias in nature grow in different altitudes ranging from humid tropical forests on the plains to mountains 2,400 meters above sea level.


The begonia collection in Eka Karya began in 2001. Taking an eight-year effort to create, this collection of the Botanical Garden cultivated at an elevation of 1,250 meters above sea level is the most complete in the world. “We did not declare the collection of begonias to be the most comprehensive in the world,” said Hartutiningsih. Based on the writings of Hoover (2008) at the World Center of Begonia, the Botanical Garden of Bali has the most comprehensive begonia collection in the world. In Eka Karya, the begonia collection started from only five species. For the sake of increasing the number of collections, among others, explorations of a number of island flora and seed exchanges with other botanical gardens have been conducted between this botanical garden and Jardin Botanic Garden (BG), France; Glassgow BG, Scotland; Queen Sirikit BG, Thailand; BG Tubingen, Germany; American Begonia Society Tonkawa, United States, and New England Tropical Conservatory, England.
From 313 begonias collected, there is a division into 100 types of natural begonias and 213 types of exotic begonias as a result of crossing. Additional collection occurred in the 2006-2009 period of exploration on the islands of Sulawesi and Papua. In Papua, the exploration was done in the West Batanta Island Nature Reserve, Raja Ampat, West Papua. Resulting from scientific descriptions, there are now 20 hitherto unknown new species being published in international journals. There are still many other types that have not been scientifically described. Crossbreeding research was also conducted to produce a new type of begonia with attractive physical appearance and better than its parent, unique, and has stronger endurance. Cross-breeding is done by cross-pollination. Begonias are generally self-pollinated.
In 2005, Hartutiningsih crossed Begonia acetosa and Begonia listada. The new cultivar is named Begonia Tuti-Siregar. “Tuti” is the new name coined by Hartutiningsih, while “Siregar” is the name of her husband, Mustaid Siregar, the head of the Bogor Botanical Garden. This new cultivar has been registered in the American Begonia Society. Crosses continued to be created in 2007, from female flowers of Begonia puspitae and male flowers of Begonia pasamanensis, producing Begonia Lovely-Jo. Its leaves are uniquely egg-shaped like dilated hearts (of love), asymmetrical, light green and hairless. This new kind of begonia has received Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Rights from the Centre for Plant Variety Protection and Licensing of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture. In 2013, there is going to be a scheduled BUSS test of novelty, uniqueness, uniformity and stability.

Medicinal plants

The distinctiveness of begonias creates potential in these plants. Some of them even have the potential to be medicinal plants. According to Hartutiningsih, who is currently still working on some kind of begonia research, begonias as medicinal plants can supposedly cure several diseases, including fever and the venereal disease syphilis. There are begonias that contain laxatives or substances to treat upset stomach. Begonia glabra is alleged to have medicinal properties for healing new wounds. Its leaves, stems and flowers contain saponins. Its leaves contain tannins, while its stems and flowers contain flavonoids and polyphenols.
Begonia fimbristipula efficaciously reduces temperature/fever, and is a cough medicine and pain medicine in coming months. This type of medicine has been processed into a fresh drink, a somewhat bitter tea from China. Begonia multangula and Begonia robusta with the local name hariang is used by Sundanese people in West Java as a substitute for vegetable acid. Begonia baliensis Girmansyah is a source of traditional medicine used to relieve cough and throat. It contains active compounds that can inhibit the growth of bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Not only exotic. Begonias also contain a lot of other benefits. Science can reveal them.

Source: Kompas


Natura Tropicae

Begonia yang dapat ditemukan di Sumatera Barat (photo: naturasumatrana)

Begonia, yang Indah dan Berkhasiat

Nawa Tunggal | Kompas.com, 29 April 2013

Sebanyak 313 jenis begonia koleksi Kebun Raya Eka Karya Bedugul, Bali, kini jadi yang terlengkap di dunia dan mudah dinikmati di sebuah Taman Begonia seluas 700 meter persegi. Begonia satu-satunya tumbuhan dengan daun tak simetris, sekaligus tanaman hias yang belum banyak dilirik. Begonia (Begoniaceae) sebagai tanaman hias memang belum populer di Indonesia. Namun, tanaman ini diminati di beberapa negara sampai-sampai banyak terbentuk asosiasi penggemar begonia,” kata Hartutiningsih, peneliti begonia pada Pusat Konservasi Tumbuhan Kebun Raya Bogor Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI), awal April 2013, di Kebun Raya Eka Karya Bedugul, Bali.

Ciri-ciri spesifik helai daun yang tak simetris (begoniifolia) menjadi salah satu eksotisme begonia, selain corak dan warna-warninya. Begonia alam tumbuh liar di habitat berair seperti sekitar sungai. Beraneka jenis begonia juga mudah dijumpai di sekitar air terjun. Keragaman…

View original post 557 more words

‘Aka’aka’awa refugium

Studia Mirabilium

akaakaawaI was super excited to finally come across this cool native plant. This is the sole native begonia to Hawai’i: ‘Aka’aka’awa (Hillebrandia sandwicensis). I personally like to say it in the same cadence as the name of a certain young mongoose in a certain Rudyard Kipling story. This plant is currently only found on Kaua’i, Maui and Molokai. Hillebrand (for whom the plant is named) recorded it once back in the 1880’s on Mt. Ka’ala on O’ahu.

The genetics (Clement, 2004) seem to show that this plant may have quite the story to tell. For ‘Aka’aka’awa maybe the last of its line, one whose unique evolutionary history may stretch back to just after the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. Some advertisers have it wrong. Move over cycads… ‘Aka’aka’awa is the true prehistoric plant of Hawai’i.

View original post 672 more words

What’stomata with you?

Click here to contact SoundEagleSoundEagle says:

Click here to contact SoundEagleadelecmj states: “This picture also illustrates why I’m rambling about these cute little things. My MSc research project is focussed on better understanding how stomata develop in Begonia and so, for the next 2-3 months I’ll be eating, breathing and living stomata science.”


Plants in real life

Tiny little mouths. Swarms of them on every leaf, gaping wide open or clamping shut in order to keep their plants alive. They’re called stomata and help prevent plants from losing so much water that they dehydrate whilst allowing enough carbon dioxide into leaves that they can continue the amazing job of making their own food from what is essentially fresh air, water and sunshine. They allow plants to live on land and do things like survive droughts or forgetful gardeners and could play a big part in aiding adaptation to climate change, making them topical and important.

So, what actually are these mysterious structures? They’re basically pores on the surface of plants that let air in and out. One stoma comprises of two guard cells which control how open the pore is, an air cavity underneath that and, sometimes, a whole lovely bunch of other cells and maybe…

View original post 293 more words

Mother’s Day in 2013

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a celebration honouring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.


Begonia: “Be Cautious and Fanciful”

Write text here…


Begonia Beauties


Write text here…


2013 Annual Show of Begonias

Click here to see the 2012 Annual Begonia Slideshow and Gallery.




23 FEB
Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Auditorium Annual Begonia Show

The 2013 Annual Show of Begonias is held at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Auditorium from 9am to 4pm on 23rd (Saturday) of February, where visitors can:

  1. Admire quality begonias in 30 competition classes.
  2. View artistic static displays of diverse begonias.
  3. Meet experienced growers and dedicated members of the society.
  4. Purchase many varieties of begonias not available through normal nurseries.
  5. Buy books published by the society.
  6. Make inquiries or seek assistance at the information desk.
  7. Participate in the “Name This Begonia” competition.
  8. Witness the award of competition trophies at 10.30am.
  9. Attend workshops on how to grow begonias well at 11am.
  10. Win monster raffle prizes.
  11. Enjoy light refreshments.

Annual Begonia Show from the Past

Click here to see the 2012 Annual Begonia Slideshow and Gallery.

Click here to see the Videos of the 2012 Annual Begonia Show.

Floral Divider






B. Rhizomatous Hybrid

B. ‘Flames’

Barbara Blacka

B. ‘Kit Kat’

Barbara Blacka
B. Rhizomatous Hybrid
(Spiral, Crested or Curled, or Distinctive Foliage)

B. ‘Norgrove Curl’

Barbara Blacka

B. ‘Plum Swirl’

Enid Henderson
B. Rex Cultorum

B. ‘Silky Swirl’

Joan Taylor

B. ‘Indian Summer’

Carmel Browne
Any Species Begonia

B. microsperma

Enid Henderson

B. polyantha

Barbara Blacka
B. Queensland Hybrid

B. ‘Spots ’n Swirls’

Joan Taylor

B. ‘Turnabout’

Marge Heinemann
B. Semperflorens

B. unknown

Marge Heinemann

Not awarded

B. Tuberous, Semi-Tuberous and Tuberhybrida

B. dregei hybrid

Enid Henderson

Not awarded

B. Trailing-Scandent

B. ‘Orococo’

Enid Henderson

B. ‘Annan Blush’

Enid Henderson
B. Shrub-like

B. ‘Burning Bush’

Marge Heinemann

B. ‘Trilby Gem’

Marge Heinemann
B. Cane-Like

B. ‘Rosie’

Marge Heinemann

B. ‘Silver Locket’

Kevin Heinemann
B. Thick-Stemmed

B. ‘Rare Treat’

Shevanti Seneviratne

B. ‘Golden Girl’

Shevanti Seneviratne
Artistic Begonia Display
(Base 61cm x 61cm, height unlimited)

Not awarded



Jan Hinze
Three Pots of Begonia
(1 plant per pot, max. pot size 13cm)
1 Enid Henderson
2 Jan Hinze
Terrarium ― One Only Begonia Variety

B. ‘Silver Tears’

Enid Henderson

B. ‘Mumtaz’

Enid Henderson








Any Begonia Variety

B. unknown

Graeme Archer

B. ‘Crowded House’

Graeme Archer
Terrarium ― One Only Begonia Variety

No entries


No entries

SECTION 3 ― Challenge Cup





B. ‘Blue Bird’

Marge Heinemann

2012 in Review – Queensland Begonia Society’s Annual Report with Season Greetings, Statistics, City Skyline, Mountains, Spotlights and Fireworks!

Queensland Begonia Society in Happy New Year and Season Greetings with City Skyline, Mountains, Spotlights and Fireworks
Continuing the festive spirit as 2012 departs and 2013 arrives, Queensland Begonia Society would like to thank and appreciate, wholeheartedly, everybody who visited, liked and/or commented on various posts and pages, with the gesture and formality of presenting this stylish 2012 Annual Report, based on some data from the “stats helper monkeys” at WordPress.
Here is an excerpt from the Annual Report of
Queensland Begonia Society
  • 600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. Queensland Begonia Society had 7,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.
  • In 2012, there were 47 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 98 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 16 MB. That’s about 2 pictures per week.
  • The busiest day of the year was 19th August with 139 views.
  • The most popular post on that day was About.

Attractions in 2012

These are the posts that received the most views in 2012:

  1. 2012 Annual Show 3 comments
  2. Brussels Biennial Flower Carpet: Blooming Begonia Art 3 comments
  3. Gallery 6 comments
  4. About 3 comments
  5. Begonias–My New Favorite Flower 5 comments

How did visitors find Queensland Begonia Society?

Some visitors came searching mostly for begonia rex, queensland begonia society, curly fireflush begonia, begonia hybrida caravan, and begonia.

Where did visitors come from?

There were visitors from 88 countries in all. Most visitors came from Australia. The United States and Spain were not far behind.

Global Map of Visitors to Queensland Begonia Society

25 August 2012 to End of 2012

Global Map of Visitors to Queensland Begonia Society from 25 August 2012 to End of 2012

Who were the visitors of Queensland Begonia Society?

The post receiving the most comments in 2012 was Greetings!.

These were the 5 most active commenters:

  1. Olwyn 6 comments
  2. Lois 2 comments
  3. June McBryde 2 comments
  4. Sheryl 1 comments
  5. Logee’s Plants for Home & Garden… Specializing in Rare and Unusual Plants 1 comments

Season Greetings from SoundEagle: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Joyful Holiday

Click here to contact SoundEagle (Web Administrator and Designer)SoundEagle says: I would like to share the following poem with all followers and members of the Queensland Begonia Society.

I have a list of folks I know all written in a book,Begonia cultivars
And every year at Christmas time I go and take a look.
And that is when I realize that these names are of a part,
Not of the book in which they’re written, but of my very heart.

Each name denotes someone who has crossed my path sometime,Rex Begonia
And in that meeting they’ve become the rhythm of the rhyme.
And while it sounds fantastic of me to make this claim,
I really feel that I’m composed of each remembered name.

And while you may not be aware of any special link,Begonia coriacea
Just meeting you has shaped my life more than you can think.
For once you’ve met somebody, those years they can’t erase,
The memories of a pleasant word or of a friendly face.

So never think that my Christmas greeting is just a mere routine,Begonia 'Cranberry Curl'
Of names upon a Christmas list forgotten in between.
For when I send a Christmas greeting that is addressed to you,
It’s because you’re on that list of folks whom I am indebted to.

For I’m but a total of the many ones I’ve met,Begonias
And you happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget.
And whether I’ve known you for many years or few,
In some way you had a part in shaping things I do.

So every year when Christmas comes, I realize anew,Begonia 'Fireworks'
The biggest gift that life can give is meeting someone like you.
And may the spirit of Christmas that forever and ever endures,
Leave its richest blessings in the heart of you and yours.

Author is unknown or contested, and many variations and adaptations exist.

Christmas countdown banner

Gracie Binoya Photography

One greenhouse at the Botanical Garden is filled with dozens of Begonia plants of different colors and varieties, and I just couldn’t help but snap a few photos of them. I did use the Split toning Preset in Lightroom to emphasize the awesome colors and texture of the leaves and flowers.

ISO - 1600 | Focal length: 90 mm | F-stop: f/4 | Exposure time: 1/250 sec


ISO - 1250 | Focal length: 90 mm | F-stop: f/4 | Exposure time: 1/125 sec

View original post

Marty DeHart Introducing Begonias

Marty DeHart shows viewers what the plant breeders have been doing in the wonderful world of begonias.

Edible Begonias

Learn about wild food with Green Deane. This video presents the begonia as an edible plant that has been grown around the world both as food and as an ornamental.

For more information including the culinary and medicinal uses of begonias as well as the recipes of “Begonia Tartlett” and “Begonia Spread“, visit Begonia Bonanza | Eat The Weeds and other things, too.

Culinary uses are found in Japan, India, Indonesia (a sauce for meat and fish), Myanmar, China (tea, salads and wild snack), Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay and the Philippines. For example, the leaves of Begonia fimbristipula, a deciduous herb with tubers 7-8 mm in diameter, are harvested and dried for brewing a beverage (tea) in Guangdong, China.

The Journal of Economic Botany has mentioned the following edible begonias:

  1. B. annulata (aka B. hatacoa)
  2. B. auriculata
  3. B. barbata
  4. B. fimbristipula (used to make a tea)
  5. B. gracilis
  6. B. grandis var evansiana
  7. B. hernandioides
  8. B. malabarica
  9. B. mannii
  10. B. palmata
  11. B. picta
  12. B. plebeja (stems peeled, sap is used to make a drink)
  13. B. rex
  14. B. roxburghii (cooked)
  15. B. semperflorens

The Food Plants International Database lists more than 50 species as follows:

  1. B. aptera
  2. B. auriculata
  3. B. barbata
  4. B. baviensis
  5. B. chlorosticta
  6. B. crassirostris
  7. B. cucullata
  8. B. dryadis
  9. B. elatostemmoides
  10. B. eminii
  11. B. fagoproides
  12. B. fenicis
  13. B. fimbristipula
  14. B. fusca
  15. B. fusialata
  16. B. gracilis
  17. B. grandis
  18. B. hayatae
  19. B. heracleifolia
  20. B. hirsutula
  21. B. hirtella
  22. B. incarnata
  23. B. josephi
  24. B. katoensis
  25. B. komoensis
  26. B. laciniata
  27. B. longifolia
  28. B. macrocarpa
  29. B. magnifolia
  30. B. malabarica
  31. B. manicata
  32. B. mannii
  33. B. muricata
  34. B. nelumbiifolia
  35. B. nitida
  36. B. obversa
  37. B. palmata
  38. B. picta
  39. B. plebeja
  40. B. poggei
  41. B. rex
  42. B. roxburghii
  43. B. rubella
  44. B. rubrovenia
  45. B. sciaphila
  46. B. scutifolia
  47. B. semperflorens
  48. B. sessilifolia
  49. B. sinensis
  50. B. siriculata
  51. B. spp.
  52. B. squarrosa
  53. B. tuberosa

According to Farmacy Friday | Agriscaping, Begonia semperflorens has the tastes of lime, lemon and green apple. Its medicinal value lies in pain relief.

According to Noble Media Works, Begonia malabarica has the power to cure serious nervous system problems and chest pain, to treat cold and congestion, to change skin tone and remove wrinkles.

Some animals, however cute and small, are not averse to consuming begonias with gusto.

Where have all the comic songs of yesteryear gone?

Lois Elsden

As a child I remember so many comic songs being played on the radio…or wireless as we called it then. I’m sure they were mostly of little real merit and probably not very comical  but we loved them. I can’t imagine anything more ghastly now than ‘The Laughing Policeman’ and yet it was on Children’s Favourites almost every weekend. Then here was ‘You’re A Pink Toothbrush’, ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Loose Its’ Flavour On The bedpost overnight?’, ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’… oh , the list is endless. I was reminded of this when I took this photo in Ireland of a bed of begonias… with one lonely little viola and ‘I’m A Lonely Little Petunia In An Onion Bed’ sprang to mind.

View original post

Friendship Day

Queensland Begonia Society Friendship Day



Set Subject

Species Talk

Culture Hint

Demonstration, Presentation, Workshop or Discussion

20 OCT
Merthyr Uniting Church Hall

Friendship Day

Begonias with distinctive foliage
Enid Henderson

Begonia pedatifida
Joan Taylor
Daphne Sellwood
  • Focus on terrarium culture.
  • Extended afternoon tea for visitors.

FRIENDSHIP DAY: Traditionally held annually on the third Saturday of the month of October. Starting at 1pm, it is a fun afternoon with Lucky Door prizes and Raffle prizes. Open to all interested folks and other garden club members from Queensland and elsewhere. Admission is by invitation from or pre-registration with the president or secretary. To attend, contact Peter Henderson on

(07) 3359 4319 in Australia or (617) 3359 4319 overseas

Come and join us at our society meeting for an informative, fun-filled day with yummy food and nice raffles.

2012 Queensland Begonia Show (part 1)

2012 Queensland Begonia Show (part 2)