South West Region - American Begonia Society
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Asian Begonias

This program was presented at the Astro Branch meeting, April 2004.

There are two primary goals of this meeting:
1). To view, handle, and discuss several unique begonias which originated in asia.
2). To take cuttings and share these plants.

First, the asian begonias currently in cultivation come from numerous countries. Examples are available from India (B. rex), China (B. masoniana), Vietnam ( U388), Malaysia (B. rajah) Indonesia (Scott Hoovers u numbers), New Guinea (B. serratipetala), Borneo (b. deliciosa), and the Philippines (B. tayabensis).

These species encompass the entire range of begonia growth habits, from canes to tuberous. Perhaps the most unusual growth habit is examplified by B. deliciosa which has both a rhizome and upright stems. First viewing this plant, one thinks of a cane-like, or even a shrub-like growth habit. However, these upright stems are temporary, and will drop off every year, usually in the fall to winter, leaving the rhizome. This characteristic is carried over to all of the cultivars made from this species. Typical examples include B. 'Dale Sena' and B. 'Cynthia Bishop'.

Perhaps the best known of all of the asian species is B. masoniana. This plant was found in a botanical garden in singapore and brought back to the U.S. in the early '50s. The plant immediately became a favorite because of it's pustulated surface and the unusual brown "iron cross' on the leaf upper surface. The plant was so popular in the ABS that for years there was special show class established just for this one species.

The U numbered asian species are of particular interest because of their beutiful coloration. Plants such as U309 and U400 can go into anyone's collection and become a center of attraction. Plants such as U388 and U404 are especially beautiful, but can be a challenge to grow.

Many of these plants come from mountain stream areas, at high elevations and from longitudes near the equator This combination means the plants like cool and moist, and sometimes this can only be obtained in the home through the use of terrariums. Those commonly grown in terrariums are Begonias kingiana, leprosa, limprichtii, and versicolor.

There is much more to discuss, but lets start sharing cuttings as we talk.

Asian species commonly seen in collections.
(begonia name, author of name, year of name, country of origin)

Rhizomatous Begonias
areolata Miquel 1857 Indonesia
coriacea Hasskarl 1844 Java
deliciosa Linden ex Fotsch 1933 Borneo
goegoensis Brown NE. 1882 Sumatra
hatacoa Hamilton F. ex Don D. 1825 China
kingiana Irmscher 1929 Malaysia
leprosa Hance 1883 China
limprichtii Irmscher 1922 China
masoniana Irmscher 1959 China, Malaysia
muricata Blume 1827 Indonesia
pavonina Ridley 1909 Malaysia
rajah Ridley 1894 Malaysia
rex Putzeys 1857 China, India
robusta Blume 1827 Java
serratipetala Irmscher 1913 New Guinea
tayabensis Merrill 1918 Philippines
U309 Miller D. --- Malaysia
U334 Miller D. --- Malaysia
U357 Miller D. --- Malaysia
U383 Hoover S. 1999 Indonesia
U388 Sizemore M. ~2000 Vietnam
U400 Anderson T. ~2000 Singapore Botanical Gardens
U404 Yamaguchi Y. 1998 China
versicolor Irmscher 1939 China

Shrub-like Begonias
amphioxus Sands M. 1990 Malaysia, Sabah
bipinnatifida Smith JJ. 1906 New Guinea
exotica New Guinea
hernandioides Merrill P. 1912 Philippines

Cane-like or Thick stem Begonias dipetala Graham 1828 India
U007 Johnson M. 1981 Philippines
U074 Johnson M. 1983 Philippines
U076 Johnson M. 1983 Philippines
U168 Johnson M. 1985 Philippines
U177 de Leon N. 1959 Philippines, Colombia

Asian cultivars commonly seen in collections.

Rhizome at or below surface with upright stems 'Caribbean Clown' Anderson T. ~2000 --- ---
'Connee Boswell' Johnson M. 1985 palmata x palmata cross X diadema
'Cynthia Bishop' Anderson T. ~2000 --- ---
'Dale Sena' Anderson T. ~2000 deliciosa X 'Bob Cochran'
'George W. Fuecks' Anderson T. 2003 rajah X carrieae
'Holley's Charm' Holley F. ~2000 --- ---
'John Fogarty' Anderson T. ~2000 deliciosa X 'Bob Cochran'
'Little Brother Montgomery' Johnson M. 1986 one parent thought to be B. palmata
'Spiderman' Anderson T. ~2000

Rex cultivars 'Bob Cochran' Anderson T. , 2000
'Boom Boom' Kartuz M. , ~2001
'China Curl'
‘Comet Hale Bopp”
'Comtesse Louise Erdody' Nemeczek , 1883
'Deco Darkness' Anderson T. , 2000
'Deco Dawn' Anderson T. , 2000
'Deco Delight' Anderson T. , 2000
'Deco Dervish' Anderson T. , 2000
'Deco Twirl' Anderson T. , 2000
'Deco Wonder' Anderson T. , 2000
'Dejah Thoris' Anderson T. , 2001
'Dewdrop' Lewis , 1947
'Fairies Favorite' Anderson T. , 2000
'Flash Dance' Anderson T. , 2000
'Green Gold' --- , ---
'Harbor Lights' Anderson T. , ---
'Helen Lewis' Lewis H. , ---
'Helen Teupel' --- , ---
'Ki Funjun' 'Lalomie' Jen V. , ---
'Little Fantacy' Kartuz M. , ---
'Little Rexy' Anderson T. ~2003
'Marcus Auralius' Anderson T. , 2001
'Marion Palmer' Anderson T. , 2001
'Memory Bernice Ryan' Anderson T. , 2001
'My Peace' Anderson T. , 2001
'Peridot' Kartuz M. , 1981
'Persian Swirl' Kartuz M. , 1976
'Purple Snow' Antoon Hofnagale ~2003
'Sexy Rexy' Anderson T. , 2001