begonia greenhouse

Begonia Varieties: The 10 Most Popular Species And Varieties

The variety of different begonia species and varieties is gigantic. We have compiled the most beautiful begonia species and their best varieties for you. The tropics are considered the most species-rich spot on our planet. After all, about two-thirds of all known animal and plant species live in the ancient forests. No wonder, then, that the species-rich genus of begonia also has its origins there.

The genus of the begonias has over 1800 different species. In addition, there are also varieties and hybrids of the respective species. One hardly keeps an overview there. We, therefore, focus on some of the most beautiful begonia species for you. Begonias can be divided into several smaller groups.

Leaf Begonias

These are named not because they would never flower, but because they are primarily planted for their extremely decorative leaves. You can use these begonias especially well as a houseplant.begonia red flower in flower pot

Trout Begonia (Begonia maculata)

The intensely dotted leaves of the trout begonia immediately catch the eye. The white-silvery dots are in strong contrast to the dark green leaves with the red underside. The plants with the magnificent leaf decoration are native to the rainforest of Brazil. Therefore they need a lot of water and feel comfortable at temperatures around 20 °C all year round.White spotted Begonia leaves

Eyelash begonia (Begonia bowerae)

Also, the eyelashes-Begonie attracts attention through its special leaf-coloring. The slightly serrated leaves are not too large but are colored in many different ways. The basic color is a light green, which is interspersed with dark green to a brown or black. This creates an intense pattern of different shades of green. It takes its name from the hairs on its leaves and stems.Begonia bowerae

The compact, approximately 25 cm high plant is native to Mexico and is an attractive houseplant.

  • Tiger: The variety has brown patterned leaves and white and pink flowers.
  • Rubra: The leaves of this variety appear to be reddish-brown, but they are interspersed with light veining.

King Begonia (Begonia rex)

The king-Begonia, which is called also Blatt-Begonia, is a pure breed-form, whose ancestors come from the Asian area, however. Its dark green leaves are white, pink, and purple patterned and a beautiful decoration for your room.Begonia rex

However, you should not place the plant in direct sunlight and keep it away from the heating.

  • Helen Lewis: The well-tried variety with the blackish leaves with a bright mark in the middle is almost a classic among the King Begonias.
  • Escargot: A similar leaf pattern as the variety ‘Helen Lewis’ is also carrying ‘Escargot’. The main difference, however, is the spirals in which the leaf emerges from the stem.
  • Merry Christmas: The leaves of this variety are pink or almost purple in the middle. Towards the outside, they first become lighter and finally turn green.

Flower begonias

These begonias do not have quite as much to offer as the leaf begonias in terms of leaves, but their flowers are real showpieces.

Fuchsia begonia (Begonia fuchsioides)

The Mexican-stemmed fuchsia begonia bears fuchsia-like, drooping flowers in shades of red and pink. However, these only appear in autumn and last until spring if they hibernate properly. The plant grows upright and can be wintered indoors. With age, it begins to tilt. For this reason, it gives a beautiful figure in hanging baskets.Begonia fuchsioides

Begonia boliviensis

This rather hanging begonia species originates from the mountain forests of the eastern Andes, especially from Bolivia. It has bell-shaped, small flowers and narrow, elongated leaves. It thrives best in partial shade. Although this begonia develops tubers as a survival organ, it is typically not counted among the tuberous begonias.

  • Bonfire: The flowers of this variety have an intense red color.
  • Summerwings White: The variety ‘Summerwings White’ presents itself with pure white flowers.

Begonia boliviensis

Winter hard begonia species

One can hardly call begonias hardy. The plants originate from the tropics and subtropics and are therefore not adapted to cold temperatures and frosts. If they are exposed to these, they die. Only very few species are considered relatively frost tolerant and can be wintered outside with good protection of leaves and foliage.

  • Japanese slate leaf (Begonia grandis): The species originates from the region west of Beijing and is divided into several subspecies. The best known is probably Begonia grandis evansiana. It is an excellent perennial in the undergrowth of woody plants.
  • Begonia panchtharensis: Also this quite unknown species with very large and deeply lobed leaves survives frosts. It was discovered a few years ago in the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal and has since made it into the plant trade.

You can learn more about the two frost tolerant begonia species and their subspecies and varieties here.

Ice begonia varieties

Ice begonias (Begonia semperflorens) are blooming contemporaries until winter. With all the variety they have to offer, there is something for every taste. Among the most beautiful varieties are the classic Ice Begonias ‘Ostas H’ and ‘Oreb H Pink’. But this species also has its own special features to offer, such as the dark foliage ‘Cocktail’ series, the bicolored ‘Volumina Rose bicolor’ or the doublet.

We have compiled more information about the White Ice Begonias and their varieties here for you.

Elatior begonias

Elatior begonias (Begonia x hiemalis) are the right flowering begonias for your room. This hybrid group feels comfortable all year round at room temperature and is extremely flowering. You will be spoilt for choice with the wide range of varieties in this begonia species. Some of the most beautiful are the white-flowered ‘Clara’, ‘Camilla’ with its pink flowers, and the intense red flowering ‘Barkos’. Also worth mentioning are the two varieties ‘Yellow Stone’ and ‘Carneval’ to give a small selection.Elatior begonias

Tuber begonias

Tuber begonias (Begonia × tuberhybrida) are a group of hybrids of different begonia species. They belong to the most popular begonias and contain thirteen groups. The most important feature of these begonias is the tubers, which they form as a survival organ. During the winter they retreat completely in order to sprout again in spring.Tuber begonias

Beautiful are the tuber begonias, which are often summarized under the name “Grandiflora”. They have beautiful large flowers in all imaginable colors:

  • Cordelia: This variety is characterized by its beautiful white flowers with pink edges.
  • Majesy: The flowers of the variety ‘Majesy’ shine in bright yellow.
  • Snow Goose: Pure white like a snow goose – this is how the flowers of ‘Snow Goose’ shine.

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