Tag Archive | Personal Story

‘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.

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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…

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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.

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Down the rabbit hole: plantkiller in begonia land


plantkiller

I stumbled into a strange and oddly exhilarating world yesterday… the secret society of Begonia lovers. (OK, it’s not so secret. The Buxton Branch of the American Begonia Society meets at the Wellesley Library and even advertises co-potlucks with the Gesneriad Society. But it feels like they should have a secret knock, because they speak their own language, are fonts of arcane knowledge and even practice ancient magic — the mysterious art of making plants from plants…)

Yes, I got very brave yesterday and ventured forth to the Begonias and Gesneriads Propagation class at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. The class complimented a Begonias and Gesneriads (plant group best known for the African Violet) show… and when they say “show” they mean, like Best in Show, with blue ribbons and Honorable Mentions and so forth. My best friend nailed it: “You were waaaaaay down the rabbit hole.” Yes. Yes…

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Begonias and Bordeaux


wineonmymind

My mother’s hands have NEVER touched a drop of soil- EVER!!! But she” loves nature ” so every year she supervises ” The Planting of the Begonias ” ! This, of course, involves me planting and she directing.

It always starts with a visit to the nursery.

This is where my mother carefully inspects each plant for color and size. Two reds, two peaches, two whites and two yellows…the same plants and colors every year. I once worked with a woman who, each year, planted red and white impatiens. Three red, three white, three red and so on in that order year after year. My mother is kind of like that.

Normally here is what happens- she picks out her eight begonias.

I carefully load them into the car.

We arrange them in the bed in front of her house.

I plant them.

I go home and pour a huge…

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Treasure Chest Thursday — Begotten Begonia


Click here to contact SoundEagle (Web Administrator and Designer)SoundEagle says: How wonderful it is to have living things as family heirlooms! Thank you, Bayside Blog, for sharing your story, and may the begonia line be unbroken!

Bayside Blog

Customs officials, take note that this post is based on legend and not necessarily fact.

100_3828My maternal grandfather was an Army officer and was twice stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, with his young family. On one of these tours of duty, family lore has it that my grandmother, Grace, became besotted with a begonia of such beauty, she simply had to have one of her own. And when it came time to make the journey back to the United States, that begonia was coming with her, come hell or high water.

Her solution: to smuggle cuttings of that begonia in her suitcase — amidst her unmentionables — during the journey (by boat, no less) back across the Atlantic.

100_3829To this day, nearly every female member of my family has at least one descendant of that immigrant begonia potted on a windowsill or taking root in in a jar. One of my…

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