The flowering begonia has full, plump flowers in cheerful colours such as red, pink, orange, white and yellow. The enthusiasm with which the plant blooms - from June to midway through the autumn - means that in practice you can hardly see the plant for the flowers. Foliage begonias have a very distinctive beauty in the form of velvety leaves. Those are beautifully marked with silver, pink, burgundy and green patterns that more than compensate for the absence of flowers. Both are available in sizes ranging from S to XXL, and both are garden plants with a luxurious look which are still surprisingly easy to care for.
There are 1895 different species of begonia which grow in warm, damp forest regions in New Guinea, southern Africa and the Andes. The wild version is spikier and more slender than the cultivated version, which has much fuller leaves and flowers considerably more profusely. Breeding has also produced attractive varieties with hanging flowers.
- In the symbolism of flowers the begonia represents alertness, clear-speaking and a lighter life.
- In 1690 Charles Plumier, a French botanist and monk, named the begonia after his patron Michel Bégon. He was a French botanist and diplomat in the 17th century.
- Investment tip: begonia seeds are worth lots of money. In fact, the price of one gram of begonia seeds is more than the price of a gram of gold. That’s because the seeds are very small, the size of a dust particle. 30 grams of begonia seed contain more than 2 million seeds.