The American Begonia Society
The American Begonia Society is a horticultural society devoted to the promotion, cultivation, and study of begonias (plant family Begoniaceae). Begoniaceae is one of the largest flowering plant families with over 2050 different species and thousands of cultivars. Mature Begonia plant sizes range from a mere few inches high to over 12 feet high. The range of Begonia flowers, foliage colors, and sizes is incredibly diverse and spectacular.
Strigose: what does this mean?
Strigose means having harsh, stiff, straight short hairs that are almost bristle-like. Begonia strigillosa captures these qualities with its stiff slender bristles that rim its leaves. B. strigillosa is a species native to Mexico and Central America, and is easy to grow.
Speed up rooting for Begonia cuttings in water by adding a few stems of willow. Willows naturally produce salicylic acid and Indolebutyric acid (IBA), both common rooting hormones. Even if willow stems are put in the vase upside down, they will still root.
Cleaning Begonia seed
How to separate the good seed from the bad? As with most seed, a sieve is how farmers have been separating seed and chaff for centuries. The key is getting the right size sieve, since Begonia seed is so very tiny. Many use the US standard test sieve #45 has very fine mesh that allows you to separate the good from the bad. These sieves are available online from a variety of sources. Learn more about seed here!
Some Begonias are very small
This is a tiny Begonia with tiny leaves, but when looking at a mature plant, it brings to mind a grove of tiny trees. Begonia minutifolia grows on the Monts de Cristal, in Gabon, on wooded slopes in dense, humid forests between 500 and 700 meters elevation.
Some Begonias are very tall
Some Begonias are tall, such as B. giganticaulis, discovered in 2020 by Dr Daike Tian and colleagues while on expedition in Tibet, China. One measured over 11 feet tall and its largest diameter at almost five inches. It grows on slopes under forests along streams at an elevation of 450-1400 m. Due to a sparse distribution, its conservation status is endangered according to IUCN Red List criteria.