B. ‘Cracklin Rosie’

B. ‘Pagoda’

B. ‘My Special Angel’

Cane begonias have been popular plants for many years. This is due to how easy they are to grow, but also how beautifully free-flowering they are. They are a great plant to help build confidence in a new gardener. The silvery spotting on the leaves is always eye-catching and the purple tones both on the leaf surface and the leaf underside provide other characteristics to love.
There are about 81 species classified as cane types and almost 2,000 cultivars of those species, so identifying a given cultivar can be nearly impossible if the original name has been lost. Canes are most popular where they can be grown outdoors in frost free areas but they also grow quite well indoors or in a greenhouse.

“Angel Wings”

The earliest green leaved types of cane-like begonias were given the common name of “Angel Wing” begonias, because each leaf was shaped like a wing. Over the years, however, this name then spread to include most cane types and some of the shrub types as well and has become blurry enough that many have stopped using the name.

B. ‘Honeysuckle’ | Photo: Rick Schoellhorn

B. lucerna | Photo: Rick Schoellhorn  

That Begonia that has been passed down in my family…

One of the oldest cultivars is also one of the most popular and the toughest when it comes to surviving for generations. Created in the 1890’s, Begonia ‘Corallina de Lucerna’ (sometimes simply named ‘Lucerne’ or ‘Lucerna’) remains today as one of the best and most popular heirloom cane-like begonias. Over time, slight variations in flower color have crept into the plant, but B. ‘Corallina de Lucerna’ is easy to recognize around the globe.

The ‘Superba’ types:

A group of dedicated hybridizers that included Eva Kenworthy Gray, Irene Nuss and Belva Kusler created many of the first superba type Begonia by hybridizing with B. aconitifolia with B. ‘Lucerna’, B. ‘Lenore Olivier’ and B. ‘Kentwood’. The look of these cane-like begonias with their deeply toothed leaves, silver markings, and purple leaf tones made them very popular. Irene’s hybrid B. ‘Irene Nuss’ and Belva’s B. ‘Sophie Cecile’ are the two most widely circulated superbas of all time

B. ‘Irene Nuss’ | Photo: Rick Schoellhorn

Articles About Cane Like Begonias

The species below went into making up the cane-like hybrids of today.

B. Dichroa | Photo: Ludovic Kollmann

B. Lubbersii | Photo: Yoshitoyo Kondou ©2021 All rights reserved

B. Coccinea | Photo: Wendy Corby

B. Dregei | Photo: Chun Ming Chen

B. Angularis | Photo: Julie Vanderwilt

B. Aconitifolia | Photo: Ron Lewis

B. Solananthera | Photo: Randy Kerr

B. Albopicta | Photo: Adam Golatofski ©2021 All rights reserved

B. diadema | Photo: Ross Bolwell

B. Undulata | Photo: Yoshitoyo Kondou ©2021 All rights reserved

B. Teuscheri | Photo: Kat

B. Radicans | Photo: Ross Bolwell

B. Maculata | Photo: Wendy Corby

B. Leathermaniae | Photo: Marilyn Watson

B. ‘Corallina de Lucerna’ | Photo: Marilyn Watson