> (July/August 1993, page 136)
by Jan Goodwin
B. rajah is a rhizomatous species
with distinctive foliage. It was discovered in
Malaya in 1894 by Ridley.
The rhizome is slender and creeping. Leaves
are ovate, base cordate with overlapping blade
bases, and approximately 10 cm. at maturity.
The color is a deep mahogany on both upper and
reverse surfaces (new leaves are almost red)
and indented with distinctive green veins. The
leaf area between the veins is raised, giving
a large bubbly effect. Blossoms are pale pink,
and appear in summer.
Humidity: B. rajah is strictly a
closed container plant.
Water: It enjoys high humidity but will not
tolerate wet feet. Water only when necessary.
Feeding: B. rajah responds to
regular full strength foliar feeding.
Light and temperature: This species will
only look its best when grown in a cool
position in low light levels. If receiving too
much light or heat the leaves tend to lose
their rich color and become olive green.
Propagation: Propagation is by leaf stem,
or wedge cutting, or by seed. Margaret
Chandler of Western Australia had great
success with freshly harvested seed, but there
was no germination of seeds eight weeks old.
Maybe this seed has a short viability.
Photo by Jan Goodwin.
This article is adapted from the March 1993
issue of Begonia Australis.