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 Hybrid 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 hybrids are not lost forever, the Hybrid 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.

A bench of rhizomatous seedlings undergoing evaluation before being released by Brad Thompson. | Photo Credit: 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 hybrids and the people who created them visit the HYBRID PRESERVATION- Finding Lost Hybrids 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 Hybrid Preservation Committee, and let’s work together!

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