Begonia cf. negrosensis

Begonia cf. negrosensis

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Small, bright pink-dotted cane begonia.

 

Begonia cf. negrosensis is a cane begonia from the Philippine island of Negros. It is endemic to this island and is also named after it. There it grows in the shady undergrowth of premontane rainforests at altitudes from 600 to 1600m. 

The “cf.” in the name stands for the Latin confer (en.: compare!) and is used when one is uncertain about the identification of a species. This is the case here, because although this species is sold as B. negrosensis and we also sell it with this name, some of its characteristics do not match the “real” B. negrosensis. In herbarium records, this species is described as a shrub up to 3 m tall with stems 2.5 cm thick and unicolored green leaves! This is obviously quite different from the plants we offer here as B. cf. negrosensis.

Nevertheless: The identification is not completely out of the air, because young B. negrosensis indeed look similar to our plants here. Supposedly they lose these pink dots at a certain size. However, the plants sold in the trade as B. negrosensis never reach this large size and keep their dots (most of the time). Whether it is a new species or perhaps a dwarf form of the true B. negrosensis is not clear yet. For this reason we sell these plants as Begonia cf. negrosensis.

The thin stems of these plants grow only about 30 cm high without support. As they grow taller, they bend to the side under their own weight and eventually either touch the ground or break off. We recommend cutting back the stems before this happens or staking them to a small bamboo pole or chopstick. 

The olive to dark green leaves are velvety, matte and strikingly wavy, giving them a very three-dimensional appearance. Their most striking feature are of course the bright pink dots, which downright seem to glow. On closer inspection, the dots even glisten in the light as if they were made of metal paint. The leaves usually only grow to about 6 to 8 cm long and 4 cm wide. Young leaves are olive green and darken with time. Begonia cf. negrosensis looks a little like a tiny, pink version of the popular angel wing begonia (Begonia maculata). Older plants of Begonia cf. negrosensis tend to be somewhat less heavily dotted. However, you can simply cut them back and let them grow again. The new growth will then be bright pink patterned again.

Begonia cf. negrosensis blooms with salmon to pink colored flowers from a height of about 30 cm.