Table of contents:
- Species rhizome begonias
- Hybrid rhizome begonias
- Ornamental-deciduous bush begonias
- Shrub Begonias - Shrub-like Begonias
- Species rhizome begonias
- Hybrid rhizome begonias
- Bush begonias
- Shrub begonias
The genus begonia has about 1400 different plant species, native to the humid subtropical and tropical zones of South America, Asia, Indo-China, Africa, the islands of the Malay archipelago.
Most of the species are distributed in humid tropical humid forests, in the mountains at an altitude of 3000-4000 m above sea level, a more limited number of species grows in relatively dry places in the tropics and subtropics.
Begonias have been known to the world for a very long time. The first publications belong to Charles Plumier in his work "Description of the plants of America with their drawings" from 1687. Begonia is named after the Frenchman Michel Begon, who, being the quartermaster of the fleet, organized an expedition to the Antilles in order to study the local flora.
Decorative foliage begonias differ in that they have bright greenery, beautiful shapes and patterns. Their flowers are not as spectacular as, for example, in tuberous begonias, but in some species and hybrids, flowering is very abundant and long. In the world of biologists, there is no single classification of the genus of begonias, more precisely, there are several classifications, and everyone uses the one that is more convenient and understandable for him.
Perhaps the simplest one that divides decorative leafy begonias conventionally into three groups:
- A group of bushy reed begonias or Cane begonias Cane Begonias - with large erect reed-like stems and an underground rhizome that does not come out to the surface of the ground, the bush is weakly branched, rather loose, often the stems require a garter. These are bright red begonia Begonia coccinea, spotted Begonia maculata, coral Begonia x corallina, silver-speckled Begonia x argenteo-guttata, white-spotted Begonia x albapicta, etc.
- The group of shrub begonias or Shrab-begonias Shrab Begonias are also plants with erect stems, and an underground rhizome, but unlike the previous group, the shrubs branch very willingly, the bushes are dense, well leafy, the leaves sit more compactly and usually on shorter petioles than Kane has begonias. An illustrative example is Begonia foliosa, its bush is very similar to the Rosaceae bush.
- A group of decorative deciduous rhizome (rhizome) begonias Rhizomatous Begonias, which have beautiful and colorful leaves, and the stem is an aerial rhizome, usually lying on the surface of the earth, sometimes erect: Begonia rex (and its hybrids), Begonia Fista Begonia x feastii, begonia Bauer Begonia bowerae and others.
I'll make a reservation right away that this classification, like many others, is conditional, there are species and hybrids that can be equally attributed to both Kane begonias and scrubs, in exactly the same way as some begonias can be attributed to flowering and bush begonias.
Species rhizome begonias
Imperial begonia Begonia imperialis is a rhizome begonia native to Mexico. The stem part of the rhizome is lodging, therefore the bushes are low, on average 35-40 cm tall. Leaves are rounded, heart-shaped at the base, with a pointed oblique top, about 10 cm in diameter. The surface of the leaf is velvety, silvery, with green stripes, the underside of the leaf is red.
This begonia is more photophilous and thermophilic than other deciduous species, responds well to the morning or evening sun by forming a lush bush. Please note, ideally the crown is so thick that even the petioles are not visible. It is very demanding on high air humidity, it is best to grow it on a wide pallet with damp pebbles or sphagnum moss. The temperature should not fall below 15-16 ° C.
Only soft water is used for irrigation. Spraying is undesirable.
Begonia solimutata Begonia solimutata - native to the north of Brazil, is quite rare in culture. It has large, rounded or broadly oval leaves, about 15-17 cm long, oval with a heart-shaped base and pointed apex, asymmetric. The surface of the leaf is wrinkled (warty), covered with dense short pubescence, velvety, green, light green along the veins. The underside of the leaf is slightly pubescent and reddish. The flowers are white on high erect peduncles, in loose panicles. The size of the bush is about 45-60 cm.
The color of the leaves varies greatly depending on the degree of illumination. In bright light, the dark green leaves become marshy, almost brown, and the stripes along the veins are pale green. It grows quickly, expanding into wide, spreading bushes. Does not tolerate water ingress on leaves and excessive watering.
Begonia bowerae Begonia bowerae is a species native to Mexico, a low bush with a creeping aboveground rhizome. With asymmetric heart-shaped leaves about 8-10 cm long and 4-6 cm wide, rounded at the base, pointed at the end. The upper side of the leaf is green, with dark, almost black spots along the veins and along the edge of the leaf. The underside of the leaf is light green, reddish along the veins. The flowers are white with pink spots.
This is the original species, several varieties were later bred, differ, first of all, in miniature size - about 25 cm in height, otherwise the color, shape and hairline of the leaves are quite diverse. Some have rounded or oval leaves ('Tiger Kitten'), others have stellate, maple-like leaves ('Black Velvet', 'Cleopatra'); there are varieties with a smooth leaf surface and sparse villi evenly over the entire leaf surface, while others have hairs collected by cilia - bunches along the edges of the leaves.
The requirements for the culture, as for all other begonias, are sufficient air humidity, watering after the top layer of the earth has dried, lighting - diffused light.
Mason's begonia Begonia masoniana is a native of Southeast Asia (India, China). Rhizome begonia forms low, up to 45 cm tall, spreading bushes. The leaves are rather large - about 15 cm in diameter, rounded, with a wrinkled surface and short pubescence, velvety. The color of the leaves is original: the main background is light green, from the center of the leaf along the large veins there are dark green, almost black stripes, resembling a Maltese cross in shape.
English collector of begonias L. Maurice Mason L. Maurice Mason this begonia from Singapore to England in 1952 and gave it the name 'Iron cross' 'Iron cross', later it was given the specific name masoniana, but among fans the folk the name 'Iron Cross Begonia'.
In general, begonia is no different in content from other begonias, except that it is more sensitive to waterlogging of the earth, is thermophilic enough (winter minimum 16 ° C), prefers high humidity all year round, but does not tolerate water getting on the leaves.
Begonia eridikaulis Begonia aridicaulis - a miniature leaf begonia, a fairly young species - described in 1952, found in Mexico, on coffee plantations, grows along streams. The species is popular with begonias collectors and will obviously gain momentum in popularity.
The height of the bushes is about 10-15 cm. The leaves are about 5-7 cm long, oblong, pointed at the end, rounded at the base, symmetrical, with a finely toothed edge. The leaf surface is smooth, shiny, dark green, with bright light green veins. The rhizome is predominantly underground. The aerial part is short with small internodes, so the plant has the shape of a compact bush.
An interesting name for the species, in Latin there is the word "ridica" which means "stamen, support for a garter", the prefix "a-", borrowed from Greek means negation, there is an opportunity to come up with your own interpretation …
They grow it in terrariums or round aquariums, due to the demand for high air humidity. Begonia is shade-tolerant and thermophilic.
Berkill's begonia Begonia burkillii is another miniature and rather rare leafy rhizome begonia, originally from India, published in 1920. The bushes are about 20-25 cm in size. The leaves are oblong, about 5 cm long, asymmetric at the base, narrowed at the end, mint green colors with almost chocolate spots between the veins and along the edge of the leaf, creating an almost marble pattern. The flowers are pale pink, large.
This type of begonias is very demanding - it loves fresh air and constantly high humidity (grown in terrariums). In nature, it grows in a wide temperature range, up to zero (at room content, the temperature minimum is 10 ° C). Sensitive to waterlogging, the substrate must be very well drained.
This begonia is quite rare, and there is very little information on it. I will assume that the species is named after Isaac Henry Burkill, British botanist, director of the Botanical Gardens of Singapore and Penang, author of the names of a number of botanical taxa.
Begonia Sizemore Begonia sizemoreae - native to North Vietnam, has somewhat unusual leaves. On young leaves it is imperceptible, but on large old leaves it is well pronounced: on the upper surface of the leaf, long (more than 1 cm), but rare white hairs - bearded leaves grow. The leaves are rounded, slightly asymmetrical. The upper surface of the leaf is wrinkled, dark green with a silvery-green stripe and dark deep venation, the underside of the leaves is crimson, the veins are green. The petioles are covered with very dense long hairs. It blooms with small pretty pink flowers, gathered in loose panicles. Plants are medium-sized, on average about 40 cm (maximum 60 cm) in height.
Pretty hardy begonia, grows in a wide temperature range (minimum +7, stoically tolerate heat). Does not like waterlogging of the soil, drying of the earth is required. Loves humid air, responds well to direct sun in the morning or evening.
Cuff begonia Begonia manicata - originally from Mexico, is rarely found in culture, since it has almost no decorative value - the leaves are huge, like burdocks, in the original species, whole, with an even edge, up to 30 cm in diameter, rounded, asymmetrical. The petioles and the reverse side of the leaves are covered with short pale green hairs, with "inserts" of longer reddish hairs; a distinctive feature of the species is a fringe of long thick red hairs on the back of the leaf at the very base, like a cuff. The Begonia manicata 'Crispa' variety has terry-curly leaf edges.
This kind of begonia has been used to create more beautiful hybrids. So when crossing Begonia manicata with Begonia hydrocotylifolia, the red-leaved begonia Begonia x erythrophylla was obtained.
In general, hybrids from cuff begonia are one of the most unpretentious - they are very shade-tolerant, tenacious, not demanding on temperatures, they tolerate the dryness of room air more tolerantly.
Begonia hogweed Begonia heracleifolia - originally from Mexico. It forms a rather long aerial rhizome, which at first lays down, hanging down over time, from which the plant takes a semi-ampelous shape. The leaves of the original species are large - about 25 cm in diameter, symmetrical, maple-like or stellate with an uneven toothed edge, uniformly green. The petioles are very long, about 40 cm long, light green or reddish, covered with dense green hairs. The flowers are pink, in loose panicles on very long erect peduncles, they sometimes reach about 1 m in height.
The species is very variable in the depth of dissection of leaves, color. In some varieties, as in the photo Begonia heracleifolia 'Nigricans', the leaves are deeply finger-dissected and the color is silvery green.
This is one of the hardiest types of deciduous begonias - it is undemanding to temperatures and high air humidity, to the structure of the soil, it is very easy to root, shade-tolerant. But it must be protected from direct dry air of radiators in winter.
Ringed begonia Begonia annulata (synonymous with Begonia griffith Begonia griffithii) is a natural species found in 1987 in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Almost never found in culture. I present here for the purpose of acquaintance - this begonia was actively used in hybridization when creating various varieties of Rex begonias, so to speak, the progenitor. The pattern of its leaves is precisely traced in many varieties of Rex begonias.
Hybrid rhizome begonias
Begonia group Rex Begonia x rex (rex-cultorum) - This is a type of rhizomatous begonias that are grown for their colorful leaves. Their flowering is very modest, the leaves are incomparable, but there are difficulties in care, which are often insurmountable for an ordinary grower.
Most of the plants are short, reaching a maximum of 1-1.5 m, with a lodging, creeping, eventually hanging stem, which is a rhizome. Traces of old, already dead leaves are clearly visible on it. Leaves on long petioles. The shape of the leaf can be: simple round, oblong, oblique, cochlear, pinnate (weakly dissected or deeply dissected, stellate). The edges of the leaves are quite rare, serrated or deeply dissected. Leaves, petioles and rhizome ("stem") are covered with thick hairs of various colors (whitish, yellowish, reddish, etc.). On the surface of the leaf, the hairs are very short, dense, which makes the leaves seem velvety. The hairs on the stems and petioles are sparser and longer.
The variety of leaf colors is striking: a different combination of colors, patterns, marbling of the pattern; some royal begonias have leaves with a metallic silvery sheen. The size of the bush and leaves can be from miniatures, when the leaf is about 5 cm in diameter, to large, with leaves about 20 cm in diameter.
More about Rex begonias >>
Hybrids or cultivars resulting from the crossing of Begonia hydrocotylifolia and Begonia manicata:
Red-leaved begonia Begonia x erythrophylla, its synonyms Begonia x langeana, Begonia x bunchii and Begonia fista Begonia x feastii.
All these are heterotypic synonyms (heterotypic - consisting of different types) of the same kind.
These begonias are moderately thermophilic, very shade-tolerant, less demanding on air humidity than other species, but spraying is required in winter. Moderate watering with dry land.
If you are a novice florist, then hybrid fista begonia (or red-leaved) is the plant for you. If she is doing well with you: the bush is lush, dense, there are no spots on the leaves, the petioles do not stretch too much, and the leaves do not turn pale, then you have good conditions for begonias, and you can start growing more complex species or hybrids.
Ornamental-deciduous bush begonias
Cane Begonias Cane Begonias are a group of bush hybrid begonias, predominantly with erect stems and an underground rhizome (rhizome). Includes several species of begonias:
- Bright red begonia Begonia coccinea,
- Rooting begonia Begonia radicans,
- Spotted begonia Begonia maculata.
And some hybrids, for example,
- White-spotted begonia Begonia x albopicta,
- Begonia x corallina,
- Silver-speckled begonia Begonia x argentea-guttata.
Most of them are characterized by the "angel's wing" leaf shape. These are oblong or oblong-ovate leaves, pointed at the top, rounded at the base and asymmetrical in shape. In some species, this form is pronounced, in others it is almost invisible. The edge of the leaf can be serrated, almost even, sometimes slightly wavy.
Shrub Begonias - Shrub-like Begonias
Felt begonia Begonia venosa is a species native to Brazil, with an erect stem. Leaves are rounded, slightly asymmetrical (the so-called ear-shaped), about 13-15 cm long, slightly tapering at the top. Young leaves - with a wavy edge, folded in a fan when unfolding. The leaf surface is dense, leathery, covered with fine white hairs. The leaves sit on short petioles, close to the stem, which is covered with large dry stipule scales. The peduncle is pink, also pubescent. The flowers are creamy white, very fragrant.
This begonia is quite resistant to dry indoor air and is thermophilic. It requires a place with very good illumination, a little direct sun in the morning or evening, and strict drying of the substrate for the next watering.
Begonia flesh-colored Begonia incarnata (aka Begonia metallic Begonia metallica is not an official name, just a synonym) - originally from Mexico, a large plant with pubescent, highly branching stems. Leaves are ovoid, asymmetric with a serrated edge, about 15-17 cm long. The leaf surface is pubescent, wrinkled, olive green in the original species. The reverse side of the leaf is purple. At the base of the petiole there are short reddish stipules of an ovate-pointed shape. The flowers are fluffy, bright pink. The size of the plant is about 1 -1.5 m.
Begonia Metallica, previously distinguished as a separate species, is just a variety of this species, Begonia incarnata 'Metallica' - it is distinguished by a pronounced purple tint along the veins, which gives an optical effect of depth, or as botanists described it: "shine of polished metal". This variety has been used to create at least a dozen new hybrid varieties.
Like all begonias, this species loves high humidity, but like all other bush begonias, it grows into a large plant. Those. she will hardly get a place on the windowsill. Do not place the pot on the floor or on a stand near a battery. If it is impossible to put the plant near the pot, put it further from the batteries, but arrange additional lighting with fluorescent lamps - despite the fact that flesh-colored begonia is quite shade-tolerant, it will be dark in the corner of the room.
Striped begonia Begonia listada - originally from Rio Grande do Sul in South America (southern state of Brazil) - is a large plant with well-branching stems, at first it grows vertically, then the stem can fall over, taking a semi-ampelous shape. Leaves are elliptical, asymmetric, about 10 cm long, about 4 cm wide. The leaf surface is dark green with a bright yellow-green stripe along the central vein, covered with thick short hairs, making the leaves look velvety. The reverse side of the leaf is reddish.
Interestingly, when this begonia was discovered in 1961, and made available to ABS - American Begonia Society, it had long been considered a hybrid. And only 20 years later, in 1981, the name Begonia listada was legalized as the official name of the species.
But of course, begonia with such beautiful leaves took an active part in the development of new interspecific hybrids.
It grows quickly, requires periodic pinching and tying to a support, if not grown in a hanging basket.
Begonia foliosa Begonia foliosa - native to Ecuador and Venezuela, a well-branching shrub about 80 cm high (up to 90 cm), drooping shoots, can be grown as a semi-ampel plant in a hanging planter.
There is some confusion of this species with the fuchsia begonia Begonia fuchsioides. In fact, these are two different species, but one of the varieties of multifoliate begonia, namely Begonia foliosa var. miniata is no longer a multi-leaved one, but is a fuchsia-shaped begonia (last update based on data from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, 2012-23-03).
Many-leaved begonia has small, about 1.5-2 cm oblong-ovate leaves, slightly narrowed at the end, sitting on very short petioles, about 2 mm long, with a jagged edge. The leaves themselves are green, the stems are reddish, woody in the lower part of the bush. Reddish and petiole, and a network of veins on the back of the leaves. Flowers one - two at the tops of the shoots, the petals are pale pink, the scarious bracts are short, no more than 5 mm, pale green, the pedicels are green.
Fuchsia begonia Begonia fuchsioides - her homeland is Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela. It is a well-branching shrub with an average height of about 60 cm (up to 1.2 m), drooping shoots.
Fuchsia begonia also has small leaves, about 1.5-2 cm, oblong-ovate, slightly narrowed at the end, sitting on very short petioles, about 2 mm long, with a jagged edge. The leaves themselves are green, on the reverse side they are also green, but lighter. Stems and petioles are reddish. Flowers in racemose inflorescences of 7-11 pieces. At the same time, they are very similar to fuchsia flowers: pedicels, calyx and corolla are bright pink or salmon. Sometimes the flower stalk and calyx are intense pink, and the petals are pale pink. This species can also be attributed to decorative flowering begonias.
Both types: fuchsia begonia and many-leaved begonia are so similar in shape to a bush and leaves that they can be guaranteed to be distinguished only during flowering.
- Decorative blooming begonias
- Leafy begonias care
- Family of begonias