Stems erect to 30 cm tall, freely branching. Leaves deeply cleft, 3-lobed, one lobe more than double the length of the other two, hairless; margins entire. Flowers white.
Hybrid Tuberous Begonias I
n the 1860s six tuberous begonias were discovered in the Andes of South America and immediately European breeders began experimentation with them. The present-day outcome is a vast hybrid tuberous group with cultivars derived from hybridisation of many species, chiefly B. boliviensis, B. clarkei, B. davisii, B. pearcei and B. veitchii, all from the Andes.
Stems may be absent to about 50 cm tall and erect or pendulous, fleshy and mostly hairy. Flowers mostly 3 in axillary clusters with a single male flower between 2 females, occasionally paired. The flowers are variously coloured, sometimes double, bicoloured, fringed or fragrant; summer. The tubers are concave above. [B. ×tuberhybrida Voss, B. ×tuberosa hort.]
The flower types are generally grouped as follows: Single, Frilled, Crested, Daffodil-flowered, Camellia-flowered (sometimes ruffled), Rosebud, Carnation, Picotee (flowers mostly large and double, in camellia kinds the tepals are edged differently or merged with the same colour), Marginata (margin coloured), Marmorata (white marbled), Pendula (foliage pendulous, widely used in hanging baskets), Multiflora (plants bushy, compact, flowers numerous).
The following list represents a selection of widely available cultivars (from a current total of about 300 listed by the Victorian Begonia Soc. Inc. The full listing is being established on database).
Contemporary famous breeders include: Blackmore and Langdon of Pensford, near Bristol, England for their giant flowered hybrids; Antonelli Brothers of California for their Cascade or hanging basket begonias; and Mr Ralph Willsmore of Myponga, South Australia who has produced many fine new hybrids. There is now a major international industry based on tuberhybridas. In 1994 Belgium produced 75 million plants, Germany 3 million and the USA 7 million (from California). These are generally supÃÂÂplied as unnamed colour variants.
First Love' Flowers white picotee. Raised by Blackmore and Langdon.
Hercules' Flowers salmon to red. Raised by Blackmore and Langdon.
Wedding Day' Flowers white picotee. Raised by Blackmore and Langdon.
PENDULOUS CULTIVARS (SELECTION FROM A TOTAL OF ABOUT 50 THAT ARE AVAILABLE)
Some of these cultivars grown in Australia were raised by Vetterle and Reinelt, California, a nursery active in the 1940s to 1960s. Frank Reinelt was the hybridiser of the Pacific Group of hybrid begonias and the Cascade pendula hybrids.
Source: (1997). Begoniaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press. (as Begonia partita)
Leaves variable in shape and size, as above but the leaves are shiny, heavily splashed and spotted silver over the entire plant, unlike the B. dregei Group, the silver markings remain. Discovered in the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Scotland.
Leaves small, to 3 cm long, deeply cut, with toothed margins. Flowers small, white.