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Home > Begonian > Volume 68 (November/December 2001, page 208)

A Holiday Begonia: B. 'Christmas Candy'
by Freda Holley

o one answered the call for photos and stories of begonias with holiday names, perhaps because there are apparently very few of these. I could identify only B. 'Merry Christmas' and B. 'Happy New Year' in addition to the subject here and I am wondering if even these can be found anymore (Now watch many more magically appear!). It's time for creative hybridizers everywhere to celebrate the holidays by naming some of their selections appropriately for next year's holiday edition!

But I did have on file Cynthia Bishop's photo of her B. 'Christmas Candy' and it is surely enough of a marvel with which to celebrate the holidays. It is also a begonia with a story. Evidently, Patrick Worley was the first to use B. U014 from Argentina - and I have been told by one reader that B. U014 may now identified as B. descoleana L.B. Smith & B.G. Schubert (Is that correct, Thelma?) - to cross with a Semp. He believes that cross is now lost, but Mabel Corwin later crossed B. U014 with B. 'Glamour Rose Picotee' to produce the B. 'Christmas Candy' we all know and love.

Other hybridizers say that no matter which Semp is used for a cross, the hybrids will be very similar demonstrating the power of B. 0014. A commercial producer has come up with such a seed grown cross B. 'Dragon Wings' that has been a huge commercial success and a similar cross is available in Australia.

B. 'Christmas Candy' never stops blooming if given light and heat and it is an appropriate begonia with which to celebrate the holiday season with its vivid green and red coloring. So bring one inside and enjoy!


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