With over 2000 species and thousands of hybrids, the ID of a specific Begonia can be tenable. Although many are commonly known and popular varieties are easy to identify, determining the name for plants is sometimes daunting. Our article on the Growth Habits of Begonias – Horticultural Classifications in About Begonias can help identify the type and growth habit of a particular Begonia. But what is its name? Here you will find databases and lists that may be useful in your research:
The International Database of the Begoniaceae is go-to database for searching information on all types of begonias: species, cultivars, registered hybrids and unidentified species (U numbered begonias). The ABS helps to support this site. The database was developed by Ross Bolwell, a member of both the American Begonia Society and the New South Wales Begonia Society, Australia. This is a “wiki” style database where you can add data to update a Begonia record or add a completely new Begonia record. Any data you add via the wiki will be verified before any records in the database are changed. Here is a link to our IBD Instruction Guide: IDB Instructions
In 1958, The American Begonia Society was appointed the International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA) for the genus Begonia by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), and is responsible for the names of Begonia hybrids and cultivars.
Access our current list of registered cultivars here.
The Unidentified Begonia Species List (U Number List): Unidentified Begonia species that are in cultivation are assigned a U number and grown under this number until its proper name is identified or else it is described.
NOTE: Many growers and grow houses will number their plants with their own ID number and described plants, resulting in numerous names for the same Begonia plant. Also, consider names of a plant that have been “renamed” over time. Our resources do not cover these AKA’s.