Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Begonia grandis

Hardy begonia:

This is a spectacular plant in full bloom now. Planted in a shady Cobble Hill garden in July, it is now reaching 18" tall and has full, fat, almost tropically lush leaves. The flowers are delicately pink and hang from supple, graceful,red-tinted stems. And guess what? It will be back next year. Wow.

It is late to emerge in the spring so it was planted along with Phlox stolonifera, a spring bloomer that emerges early, and whose summer leaves are nothing to look at: it goes flatly dormant - so now it is resting beneath the begonias.

For shady spaces this is a wonderful plant. It's unusual, low-fuss and beautiful. Kudos to the grower, Jim Glover, for making these available in such good condition to a market thirsty for the next best thing.

Begonia grandis is the palest of pinks
Begonia grandis "Album" is a white cultivar
Full to semi-shade (early morning sun only, or dappled shade)
Hardy to Zone 6
Benefits from mulch (ie. mulch it over winter!)

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