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Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana

Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana
hardy begonia
Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana
New growth in late spring

Common name hardy begonia
Family begoniaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z6-9)
Flowers soft pink, white (September)
Size 18"
Light part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil (not too dry)
From seed germinate at room temperature (do not cover)
detailed seed-starting info below

We grew our first from seed, labeled as subspecies evansiana. So tiny and delicate as seedlings, I was surprised they survived - but they did, and by mid-summer, it was showing off its lovely foliage; by late summer, the first soft pink flower appeared. In the years following, I thought several times that the plants were lost, but in fact they are just very late to emerge: late May or early June in our garden. Somewhere along the line we picked up a few new plants, probably not of the subspecies - these are the white ones above, making for an appealing contrast in foliage and flower with the Daphne retusa behind it. When it still hadn't reappeared by sometime in late April, I figured my plant was lost. But a recheck in early June shows that it is alive and well

hardy begonia
The show keeps on going after the flowers fade: the curiously winged triangular seed boxes are quite decorative in their own right.
Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana
Blushing flowers just opening
hardy begonia

The leaves are works of art, especially when they are back-lit by the sun. The blood-red veins are offset by forest green, and tiny holes in the leaves allow some of the sunlight to come directly through, giving an almost twinkly appearance.

Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana
The patch in our woodland area grows to impressive proportions by late July.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '04 HPS/MAG exchange. Surface-sowed to 6pak, with light, 70F. Just a few seedlings from many seeds, with germination starting at 19d. Seedlings stay tiny for months.

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Last modified: December 16, 2017
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