Louisiana growers dedicated to the worlds slowest art form
Every gardener has their favorite plant. Sometimes we get a beautiful plant at the nursery, bring it home and put it where we think it looks great, only to watch it wither and die no matter what we do. Sometimes that "perfect" spot was perfect for us, not the plant. Sometimes we can be the cause by killing with kindness. Too much light, or not enough? Too much water? Wrong soil? What happened? If you have enjoyed those delicate plants with the fancy colored leaves but have been afraid to try one, or you brought one home and pampered it only to watch your hopes and wishes melt into the dirt, or had success and want to try more, you should be with us!
If you have a shady spot where nothing seems to grow well There's a Begonia for that!
Bayou Begonia of the Month December 2019 Begonia ludwigii Irmscher by Freda Holley
This was a begonia I little expected to find could survive the heat and humidity of Louisiana since it comes from Ecuador and was found at quite high altitudes. However, it has survived for several years here now quite well, of course spending winters in the greenhouse. I have come to cherish it both because it is unusual and beautiful at all stages of leaf (see ruff of hairs in Figure 1 and Figure 2) and flower (Figure 3). It is a begonia now endangered in its native habitat and so I have been very happy to get seed. The flowers are a stark white and begin in a large cluster resembling a bouquet and are large for the plant size. B. ludwigii is horticulturally classified as a thick stem. It has 28 chromosomes which means it will probably cross well with most American rhizomatous species. Indeed its most famous offspring is B. ‘Rudy’ which is a cross with B. popenoei. Although it was described in 1937, there have been only 14 hybrids reported including ‘Rudy’ and my own two cultivars B. ‘Goliath’ and ‘David.’ These 3 cultivars are all upright rhizomatous. My plant came from the Ft. Worth Botanic Garden and it is likely that there will be plants available at theSWR plant sale in Ft. Worth in May 2020.