Begonia boliviensis aerial tuber?

mark4321_gwMarch 13, 2012


I just bought a dormant B. boliviensis. It has what appears to be an aerial tuber at the end of a short stem:

I'm curious how best to deal with the tuber. It clearly has growth buds. Do I remove it now or leave it on? If so, how do I remove it? Can I assume that the stem will eventually die if it is left attached? Is it blooming size?

The plant is originally from Annie's Annuals and Perennials (the wholesaler), although I bought the plant at a great little nursery in Half Moon Bay, CA: Flora Farm Nusery. The nursery is "hidden" just a block off all the shops on main street and worth a visit. In spite of the fact that the nursery is small, that have a huge variety of interesting plants. They had other B. boliviensis, including at least one more with a similar aerial tuber. I think it was around $5.00 or $5.50, and would have actually been more at Annie's retail nursery ($9.50 I think for purple tags), and even more from Annie's mail order.

The size of the underground tuber is unclear to me--I tipped it out of the pot and although the pot was distorted I did not see any sign of the tuber at the edge of the root ball.

I grew one of these Annie's plants in the past but had to give it away before it went dormant, due to a move. I would assume this plant bloomed last summer or fall.

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Gee Whiz! I grow a lot of species tuberous but I've never seen one do that before. It looks as though it never went fully dormant as the stems usually fall apart when the season is over. It makes me wonder what the roots/tuber on thebottom of the stem look like. I wouldn't do anything but observe for awhile. I think, ahead, you can cut it free and pot it like any ordinary tuber trying to breakdormancy and survive.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:37AM
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peggiewho(z9 Ca)

I have been traumatized by your post! B. boliviensis is also a ROACH! I made the mistake of a search. Stranger still is that people are posting about roaches and comparing roach pictures. However, giving the location of a hole in the wall nursery that is worth a visit has offset the roach thing a bit.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 11:11AM
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There's an aroid whose genus name (I won't give it to you) is the same as a parasitic worm. I didn't realize until I did that search that the names of plant and animal genera can be repeated. That one is much worse than a roach.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:36PM
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I just wanted to follow up with a picture of what that dormant plant turned into. I did not repot it or remove the aerial tuber. No growth appeared on the partially buried tuber, although there are dormant buds.

The plant was situated as below only for the photo, the 4 inch pot jammed between a gap on the fence gate.

I did see the plant that I gave to a friend a couple years ago. It is much, much bigger than it was originally, and is growing upright, unlike the plant here.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 1:38AM
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