Did you ever go to a nursery and ask for a trailing-scandent plant and get a blank look in return? Let’s face it, the name for this group of interesting begonias is a bit strange. The trailing part of the name means handing. Think of a grape ivy with lots of flowers. Scandent refers to climbing as with a real ivy climbing up a wall.
One of our favorite trailing-scandent plants is B. solananthera which, according to the Thompson’s Begonias, is a species from Brazil which was found in 1853 and introduced to cultivation in the gardens of the Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. We grow ours in an unheated greenhouse in the winter and in a lath area the rest of the year. It has done very well although our home is clearly not a palace. It has lots of fragrant flowers in the winter and spring. The flowers are white with a red center.
Another trailing scandent that has done well for us is B. ‘Splotches’ which is a Leslie Woodriff cultivar (B. solananthera x B. radicans syn. B. limmingheana). The name comes from the pink and white splotches on the leaves. The flowers, which are profuse in the spring and summer, are white with pink edges. It is hard to tell from the picture, but the plant is over four feet long.
Trailing scandent begonias have same growing requirements as most begonias, but you need to be careful about it getting too hot because they will dry out and burn quickly. Protect them from the midday sun.
In addition to the two described above we also grow B. ‘Fragrant Beauty’ and B. ‘Ellen Dee’.