Sunday, May 06, 2012

Hardy Begonias

Hardy Begonias

These lovely, seemingly wild flowers begin blooming in September. They thrive in shady spots in the garden or woodland and reseed themselves year after year. I found them at Old Londontown, Maryland, some years ago. They are truly hardy and can tolerate a lot of shade and still bloom. They are supposed to tolerate the cold between zones 6-9, Northern Virginia is zone 7, so they do fine here. They get quite tall, sometimes about three feet if exposed to sunshine. Those in deeper shade stay shorter. They produce bubils so if you don't pull them out of the ground, the clump will get wider every year. They die back to the ground in winter and come up in the spring. During mid-summer they display their begonia leaves. The species name is "Begonia Grandis." Their pink blooms appear at the end of summer. The flowers rise about another six to eight inches over the foilage. This is when the bulbils form. You will find them in the crook where the leaf attaches to the main stem. Let them fall to the ground and you can collect them and scatter about to increase your clump for next year or to transplant.

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