Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hardy Begonia

Begonia grandis ( Hardy Begonia )
A moderate growing perennial, reaching a maximum size of 3 x 4 ( rarely over 2 ) feet, that is native to Japan and the southern half of China. It is found in forests and shaded streambanks in the wild.
The heart-shaped leaves, up to 8 x 8 inches in size, are rich green above and ruby red beneath.
The lightly fragrant, hanging, pale pink flowers are borne from July to the first fall freeze on upright stems.
3 winged fruits follow the flowers.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 ( 5 on protected sites ) and prefers partial to full shade on moist, fertile, acid soil.
Multiplies very easily. It is resistant to Juglone and grows well under Black Walnut.

* photo taken on July 2004 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on Jun 1 2010 in Crownsville, MD

* photo taken on annual Horticultural Society of Maryland Garden Tour

* photo taken on Aug 24 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA

* photo taken on Oct 20 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 28 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Jun 14 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 8 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on June 20 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 21 2017 in Columbia, MD

Mid-green foliage and pure white flowers; otherwise identical to species.

'Claret Jug'
similar to species except with foliage that is strongly tinted red and flowers that are a deeper pink.

* photo taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

'Heron's Pirouette'
large sprays of bright pink flowers that are twice as long as that of the species.
The flowers are also borne over a longer season from early summer into autumn.

* photos taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Sep 3 2013 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Oct 17 2013 in Olney, MD

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

Begonia 'Gryphon'
Reaches up to 2.5 x 1.5 feet, with very large, tropical-looking foliage that is heavily splashed white. The leaves, up to 10 iches wide, are rounded and deeply-cut.
Hardy zones 10+ in full sun to partial shade on fertile, well drained soil. It prefers hot humid climates. It is more drought tolerant than most Begonias.

* photos taken on July 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 3 2013 in Stratford, ON

* photo taken on June 25 2017 in Columbia, MD

Begonia 'Metallic Mist'
Vigorous growing, reaching up to 1.5 x 2 feet. The Maple like leaves are striking and heavily silvered. The pink flowers are borne in August and September.
Hardy north to zone 6 requiring partial to full shade


* photos taken on Oct 17 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Wash, DC

* photos taken on Aug 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 in Washington, D.C.

* photos taken on August 2 2010 in Bayfield, Ontario

Begonia rex

* photos taken on Aug 29 2015 in Clarksville, MD

* photos taken on June 5 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 21 2018 in Columbia, MD

* historical archive photo

Begonia semperflorens ( Wax Begonia )
Dwarf tender perennials in frost free climates that can reach up to 1.5 x 1 foot in size; in cooler climates it is often grown as an annual reaching up to 12 x 10 inches in size.
The oval leaves are glossy green or bronze and up to 3 inches in length.
The profuse flowers are borne all year in tropical climates and from summer until frost in cool climates. They are up to an inch across and can be white, pink or red.
Hardy zones 9 + as perennial, further north as annual. Prefers full sun to partial shade on fertile, moist, light soil.

* photos taken on August 3 2010 in Stratford, Ontario

* photo taken on October 10 2010 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Aug 25 2017 in Ellicott City, MD

'Barbara Rogers'
EXOTIC!!! This is a Perennial hardy Wax Begonia that is hardy north to zone 7b.
It has green leaves and pale pink flowers and can reach a maximum size of 2.5 x 3 feet.

Begonia x tuberhybrida ( Tuberous Begonia )
A tuberous perennial from zone 10 and south, in northerly climates it is often used as a summer bedding annual. It requires humus-rich, very well drained soils with a PH below 6.5. Heavy soil including a mix not porous enough when used in containers can spell disaster. They prefer either light shade or partial sun if the sun is during the morning ( ex. east facing exposure ). Do not plant outdoors until all risk of frost has passed. Plants are often started a month or 2 early indoors in order to get a sizeable plant for use in outdoor planters by the time summer begins. Once the foliage turns yellow during autumn, the tubers can be lifted and stored for the winter. After washing off soil and air drying for 2 days, store them in a cool garage or celler ( 4o to 50 F ) in marginally moist potting soil for 2.5 months to give them their required resting period. If the tubers remain healthy with no signs of rot, they can be replanted after.

* photos taken on Jan 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida

* photo taken on Sep 2 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 16 2015 in Columbia, MD


  1. Hi!

    The photo is a Caladium, not a Begonia ; )

    Excellent images and Blog!

  2. Thank you! Not sure how that got in there but I moved it to the post it belongs in.