Cultivar Preservation

Cultivar Preservation

As time goes by, the Begonia cultivars of yesterday are slowly replaced by the cultivars of today in a never-ending process. The mission of The Cultivar Preservation Committee is to save the accomplishments of past hybridizers, as many of these begonias are ‘one of a kind’, the rare magic of one person’s idea of a plant and what they created in search of this. The Life of a Cultivar is a story unto itself.

Unlike species which can be multiplied by seed, cultivars must be maintained by growing from cuttings, or clones. So that these beautiful and historic cultivars are not lost forever, the Cultivar Preservation Committee, in collaboration with the Fort Worth Botanic Garden’s Begonia Collection, collects cuttings of nearly-lost cultivars to grow, multiply, and share those cultivars back to the industry and the members of the American Begonia Society.

B. masoniana

A collection of rhizomatous cultivars in a Florida landscape | Photo: Rick Schoellhorn

B. masoniana

A bench of rhizomatous seedlings undergoing evaluation before being released by Brad Thompson. | Photo: Brad Thompson

Each year we focus on a given hybridizer(s) and work to locate the key cultivars they created by searching our personal collections and our members’ gardens. For more information on lists of cultivars and the people who created them visit the Finding Lost Cultivars page. If you have questions about a new cultivar, an old cultivar in your collection, or if you just want to help in the detective work to find lost cultivars, contact the Cultivar Preservation Committee and let’s work together!

You can learn more about Begonia species conservation and the issues via the resources the American Begonia Society works with and also visit the Save Our Species page to see how American Begonia Society members are helping to conserve endangered species.