Thursday, July 23, 2009

Begonia grandis

Hardy begonia

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

It is late to emerge in the spring so we planted it along with Phlox stolonifera, a spring bloomer that emerges early, and whose summer leaves are nothing to look at: it goes dormant - so now it is resting beneath the begonias. Of course check in again next spring to see if the phlox made it successfully. Theory is one thing and on-site success another.

For semi-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 pale pink
Begonia grandis "Album" is a white cultivar
Full shade to semi-shade
Hardy to Zone 6
Likes humus-rich soil, well-drained soil
Benefits from a compost mulch

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