Thursday, June 24, 2010

Two forms of Begonia pendula

This smallish species from Sarawak grows on vertical cliffs under wet dripping ledges away from direct sun. Leaves of Begonias are known to be highly polymorphic (ie varying over a single trait) so identifications base solely on the leaf appearance can be erroneous.

Illustrated here is a plain green leaves form and brown mottled form of the same species.

The floral characteristics are similar between the 2 forms. Male flowers are terminal on bright red stalks branched dichotomously. The less numerous female flowers are borned singly and separately and have 5 tepals. This plant likes free draining limestone medium - I grow the mottled form on a brick with crushed shell and corals.

This is a finicky and slow grower, you can go to on holidays for 3 months and come back to see it looking exactly the same when you left, with its few miserable leaves ....that is, if it does not rot. Patience and lots of love required....

Male flowers Female flower.

1 comment:

Flowering Pear said...

Good its fantastic.

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