Looking for Begonia sinensis source

krazyaroider(Hamburg, NY 14075 Zone 6)January 30, 2009

Hello ~

I grow Begonia grandis in the ground here in Hamburg,NY - just outside of Buffalo. This begonia has grown well and reproduced very well.

I am looking for Begonia sinensis and any leads are appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Gerry

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bubba62

True B. sinensis (and it is a very different plant from grandis) can be tough to find, especially since the two species are considered by some to be interchangeable. It's also a delicate little plant and tough to ship, especially while in growth. I got the white form (called 'Shanxii White') from Plant Delights a few years ago, and I also have the pink form (can't remember the source...). I'd be glad to share, but you'll need to remind me late spring/early summer, since mine are all under mulch right now, and it's tough to differentiate among the two color varieties of sinensis and the sutherlandii with which they're planted while the tubers are dormant.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 4:37AM
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krazyaroider(Hamburg, NY 14075 Zone 6)

"True B. sinensis (and it is a very different plant from grandis) can be tough to find, especially since the two species are considered by some to be interchangeable."

I have read that in literature when I was researching hardy begonias to find if they would grow in the Buffalo, NY area - It ( B. Grandis ) does very well!

"It's also a delicate little plant and tough to ship, especially while in growth. I have read that it is smaller than B. grandis."

You could wrap the Begonias in tissue paper and pad around them with paper towels or if you save the packing "peanuts" that some mail order firms use/or shredded paper like PDN uses.

"I got the white form (called 'Shanxii White') from Plant Delights a few years ago, and I also have the pink form (can't remember the source...). "

I ordered my B. Grandis from Plant Delights Nursery (PDN) and have regretted not ordering B. Sinensis - I thought they would still offer it.

"I'd be glad to share, but you'll need to remind me late spring/early summer, since mine are all under mulch right now, and it's tough to differentiate among the two color varieties of sinensis and the sutherlandii with which they're planted while the tubers are dormant."

I deeply appreciate your offer and IÂll remind you in spring, Coastal Virginia, should be around March/early April? I would not mind both color variants, if you have enough to spare. What is sutherlandii? Another type of hardy Begonia?

I am not sure if you are into hardy aroids: Arisaema, Pinellia,Typhoniums? If you are, I can send you some...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 8:19AM
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bubba62

Might be more like late April/early May before the B. sinensis are heard from - they're hard to distinguish from grandis when they first emerge (lack of leaf spotting and green, rather than red, backs of leaves are the best indicators). We're having a fairly "normal" winter here for once, meaning no three week stretch of 70 degree weather in January; this should keep things dormant longer and be a lot easier on my tree peonies and Cypripediums, which need to remain dormant at this time of year.

B, sutherlandii is a small, bright orange flowering plant native (I think) to S. Africa which has a similar growth habit to sinensis. It's been hardy here in warm winters, but I suspect it's more tender than the others overall. It produces lots of bulbils in the leaf axils, just like grandis and sinensis, as well as tubers, so can be carried over in a dormant form (I'm thinking now that I forgot to do that last fall!) in colder climates.

I love hardy aroids as well - I'm looking right now at a potted Arisaema kiushianum which insisted on coming into growth (I was trying to store it dormant in the unheated garage) and bloom WAY too early. I have several species of those and many other things in that family, and have A. flava and sikokianum coming along from seed for the first time. I have only one Pinellia, and am unsure of the species - it hitch-hiked in along with something else in a pot. I grew some Philodendron bipinnifidatum (sp?) from seed about 3 years ago and am testing 3 out of 6 plants in the ground under mulch this winter to see if they make it; experimentation is one great benefit of growing things from seed.

Anyway, send me an email sometime in April, and by then we'll know how the begonias have fared. In the meantime, you might want to look over my very haphazard blog to see the rest of my very haphazard garden!

Here is a link that might be useful: Transitional Gardener Blog

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 4:23AM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

B. sinensis is properly a subspecies or variety of B. grandis. The typical B. grandis we all grow is commonly known as B. grandis subsp. evansiana, but correctly is B. grandis subsp. grandis.

I also had B. sinensis 'Shaanxi White' from PDN four or five years ago but frankly, I was quite disappointed with it. It was different from the typical pink & white varieties of B. grandis but not in good ways! It was a small, weak-growing plant with narrow, unattractive plain green leaves and did not survive even one winter in the ground. About the only advantage was that it started blooming two or three weeks before B. grandis.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 1:32PM
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bubba62

I agree that it's not as vigorous or ornamental as grandis, but I use it for underplanting Cypripediums, Arisaemas, Trilliums, etc., so it works well in those places. Grandis tends to take over and swamp delicate perennials like that (I'm always weeding out plants of that which have migrated via the bulbils). Interestingly, the pink form of sinensis (at least the clone that I have) is not nearly as vigorous as the white, and blooms for a much shorter time. Sometimes I just collect things for botanical interest, without thinking much about their ornamental value - one day I'll get over having to have one of everything!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 3:52AM
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