B. rex

Few would have expected to find a new and unique Begonia species in crowded and metropolitan Hong Kong. And yet.....

I have an inverted glass lifting up the four inch clay pot from which this seed grown schmidtiana arises. Perhaps this should be made into a hanging basket? I've never done that before. Any other suggestions?

(Left) Have others seen this before? Based on the appearance of the slightly more mature, merely moderately hairy leaf, on the right, I assume this is a baby B. limprichtii.

I'm embarrassed to admit, I cannot recall the name of the other species to the right Does anyone happen to recognize that leaf?

Fortunately, as the cuttings grow into 'proper' plants, they will start looking more like themselves ;-)I saw something pink, furry, and unexpected, this evening, in a Begonia propagation vessel. (And how often can one say that!?)

U545

I am very fond of Begonia "Tye Dye", which is clearly, to my eye, B. palmata. All my "Tye Dye" seedlings exhibit strong growth and the same, attractive, leaves.

B. epipsila

(image left)


B. hongkongensis, from Jiujing Mountain in Hong Kong, "grows on moist rocks by streams in evergreen secondary forests on granite mountains at 150–350 m above sea level." "Begonia hongkongensis (Begoniaceae), a new species from Hong Kong " See below. Having been found to grow only at that single location, this rare species must be deemed highly vulnerable to extinction.

Fortunately, hongkongensis seems an "easy grow" terrarium species, so long as the medium does not remain too damp for too long.

"Begonia hongkongensis (Begoniaceae), a new species from Hong Kong", Fu-Wu Xing et al., Ann. Bot. Fennici 42: 151–154, 27 April 2005

B. molleri is an easy grow African species.  As an epiphyte, given that humidity decreases with increased height above ground, molleri has evolved succulent leaves to conserve water. And does not require high humidity conditions. The plant seen is potted, residing in our SoCal "sunroom".

The species description reports: "Female flowers with 4 perianth segments, styles 4, forked, stigma spirally twisted. Ovary fusiform, not winged, round in cross section. Fruit dehiscent," which is to say the ovary splits along 'seams', releasing seed. Being dehiscent is typical of Begonias. Bearing fruit, not so much.

The form of the green overy is not uncommon in African Species, however. It reminds me of cavallyensis' banana shaped, fruity, ovary

B. molleri is endemic to São Tomé, with a local distribution between Monte Café and the Pico, Nova Moka, being found at an altitude of 850 m.

(image to the left)


At center, right, is blooming B. epipsila, section Pritzelia, from Brazil.

B. epipsila likes bright light. But not too much, as strong sun can bleach out its glabrous, fleshy slooth, leaves. In winter, watering should be reduced. Though in sunny West Hollywood, California, slowed growth continues throughout our Mediterranean winter.

I have recently collected epipsila seed that I will be turning over to the A.B.S. seed fund.

Begonia metallica, continuing a survey of species in, mostly Brazilian, section Pritzelia.

This post is for my friend, Wanda, because this species is special and she is extra special.


I think this species needs fresh air, and bright light, but not direct sunlight. Here, reniformis provides shade. My plant grows in fast draining soil. This summer's bloom is a bit of a bonus, which I attribute to my charming, vegetative, personality 😄

I understand that this species can be a challenge, perhaps Powderly Mildew? If you come across powdery mildew, there are Many remedies available. And almost all of them work. At the ABS Convention, I learned some folks add 1/2 teaspoon Physan 20 to a gallon of water, and spray, with good success. I would not try this on delicate plants. And it's best to test one leaf for sensitivity, before spraying the whole plant. That's probably a good practice for most things 😷

Please share your insights and experiences. That's how I learn!

B. kingiana, blooming

Welcome to BegoniaSpecies.org. My name is Randy Montes Kerr. I have created this free website to share my love of Begonia Species from around the world. So far, scholars have identified and named about 1,800 Begonia Species. Many more are out there. Sadly, some may never be known to use due to deforestation and climate change. But, I believe that, acting together, we can take positive action to save Species from Extinction.  On this website I wil introduce some of thr 200-300 species I have grown. I will share insights from friends in the Yahoo Begonia Group and on Facebook. Please contact me using the email link to  share your knowledge and experience. This website is dedicated to Mother and Daddy, Dudley and Dianne, who have filled my life with Love.

BegoniaSpecies.org



Pink, Furry and Unexpected

Tye Dye

Left, I received this "unknown Chinese species" from a European friend following his return from a botanical journey to various eastern locations.

Can anyone help with an ID.

Begonia kisuluana Bütner is an easy grow African species, here occupying a hocking jar. I wove fishing line into a knotted mesh, "wall hanging" support, for long fiber Sphagnum moss, providing room for future growth. This accords with kisuluana's epiphytic nature.

I have also grown this species successfully, potted, under standard conditions. I found that, in those circumstances, it has a shrubby habit, like a small tree. As is generally the case with African species, kisuluana needs warmth and will not survive temperatures below 50°.

B. kisuluana Bütner, section Tetraphila, grows in a region from Nigeria to Uganda and south to Angola.

During these months of short days, I allow my windowsill species full sun, via a 9' x 6 ' west facing window, from about 2:00 pm. To prevent those terrariums receiving the suns rays from overheating, I set then back from the window about three feet, and leave their lids sufficiently open for excess heat to escape. I add back distilled water as needed to compensate for evaporation. Montis-elephantis, another African, had a growth spurt when placed in these growing conditions.

Although kisuluana produces both male and female flowers, I have not found it to be self-fertile. This is not uncommon in African species.

Have any other Group members made viable seed of this species?

I saw U402 at Michael's Kartuz Greenhouses, last weekend And I found this photo from last September.

That is U545 on the left, and showy Begonia handelii var. prostrata at center.

I am now confident that my plant is bartonea hort. See center, back, above.  If I can germinate seed, and all offspring are like unto their parents, bartonea hort. will need a U Number.  See A Note on: B. bartonea hort., The Begonian, Vol. 55, Sept.-Oct. 1988

b. sudjanae
b. hongkongensis

Violá Begonia "Randy MK2," one of many beautiful hybrids created by the Artist from Down Under, Joe Romeo.  I am deeply touched, and tickled pink, by my friend, Joe naming this cultivar after yours truly.  Randy Monte Kerr

b. molleri

B. schmidtiana

This is another special species from MountainOrchids.com. Thank you, Darrin Norton!  With lovely, fuzzy lime, lily pad, leaves, B. sudjanae has been as easy grow terrarium species.  I collected first seed just yesterday.

b. kisuluana Büttner
b. reniformis

Begonia reniformis, another Brazilian, has also been known as vitifolia. Mark Tebbitt thinks them separate species.


Reniformis grows readily, and quickly, under standard conditions. The plant shown receives almost full sun until about 2:00 pm. It is between 9 and 10 feet tall with leaves bigger that dinner plates. There is little to no branching. But many stems have arisen from the base, creating a full plant. After more than six months of blooming, only a few inflorescence remain.

This is an impressive species for those with the space. I understand some folks grow this species in pots.

b. metalicca

One of my favorite species, compact and relatively easy growing. It demands the higher humidity that a terrarium provides, here growing primarily in long fiber New Zealand Sphagnum moss.

As with many species, the lower light levels present near tank walls make for deeper and more vivid color. Lighting of this 4' x 18' x 18' tank is provided by a 54 watt HO (High Output) T5 bulb, light at 6400 K. The lighting fixture, with reflector, is suspended just above the tank's glass lid, so that the bulb does not contact the glass, avoiding excessive heat transfer to the tank. The lid is slightly opened overnight, and after distilled water is added to the tank, to avoid condensation. The room temperature never exceeds 77°.