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Complicated names!


I must admit that i’m a bit confused by all the names listed under the plant section Begonia at growsonyou. I have looked on the internet and found some information about what is listed.
Now that i have had the time i have had some of my Begonia books out and i found the following information very interesting. Perhaps it explains why the names listed don’t correspond with the names i have been working with since i started growing Begonias.

Botanically the family Begoniaceae comprises three genera, namely Hillebrandia, Symbegonia and Begonia. Of these genera the species, varieties and cultivars of the first two are met with only infrequently while the latter at least 3,000 named and registered cultivars are presently grown in addition to an equal number of unnamed hybrids and a few hundred species and varieties. Estimates of the precise number of known species of the genus vary quite widely and in part this lack of agreement is most probably a consequence of the errors in nameing that have occured over the years. The prevailing view at the moment is that there are upwards of 1,000 recognisable species with not more than one quarter of them in any one collection.
Classification~When attempting to classify Begonias it is necessary to note two quite distinctly different approaches which have been made, the botanical and the horticultural. The first approach is that used by botanists and taxonomists and it attempts to separate the various begonias on the basis of their flower detail. Throughout the past 100 years several such attempts have been made along these lines.
Of much greater interest to the grower of Begonias however, is the horticultural classification and it is in this context that much is owed to the American Begonia Society… In this approach the major objective has been to group together species and cultivars which have very similar growth characteristics. However, even in respect of this classification there exist two slightly different approaches.
European Classification~This system largely adopted in Europe is based on the cultivated Begonias being commercially exploited. This approach leads to the following types or classes:
Elatior Begonias (B. x Hiemalis)-The best known today are the Rieger Begonias.
Lorraine Begonias (B. x Cheimantha)-Commonly known as Christmas Begonias.
Semperflorens Begonias-Widely used as bedding plants or in massed displays in public parks.
Tuberous Begonias (B. x tuberhybrida)-Usually thought of as the large flowered double Begonias, summer flowering. This group also includes the cascades and the multifloras.
Foliage Begonias-In general these are the cultivars of B.rex, plants of B. masoniana, cultivars of B. bowerae, and a few cane stemmed Begonias.
USA Classification…
Trailing or Scandent.
Exhibition Classification~For show or exhibition purposes, the classification system adopted is much simpler, at least in Great Britain. Here it is the large-flowered tuberous double Begonias which are dominant and it is they which are frequently the most attractive feature in many of the summer flower shows around the country…

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Not quite sure why some of the words have decided to shrink!
I think it's still readable to anyone that's interested.

27 Sep, 2007


So if there are so many, how many different types do you grow? (Tongue in cheek a bit - I know you couldn't grow all that lot!!!)

27 Sep, 2007


No, that's just information from the books. I grow mainly the double tuberous, large flowering Begonias. This year i have started to grow a few of the foliage Begonias such as Rex, but i don't know how they will cope with the winter yet. Most of the Begonias go down to 40 degrees and the plants go down, from what i've read the foliage Begonias like it to be a bit warmer. At the moment they are with the cuttings which are still at 52 degrees to try and get good tubers, but once they are turned down to 40, the foliage Begonias will have to get on with it because i won't be keeping them at 52 all winter!

28 Sep, 2007

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