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My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Begonia - Bethlehem Star (Updated 2021)


The ID is very confusing as it goes with many names.
I realized that this is NOT a common Black Velvet Begonia.

1) One of the main characteristics that this one has that the pointed leaf formation that the 3rd pointed (star) edge seemed to be longer than the rest. It does not have a symmetry though - and so that is one of the uniqueness of this one. This one has 5 pointed star in total & the foliage size appearance is always small.

2) Another one is that  - it has a reddish burgundy furry leaf stem followed by a yellow dot at the leaf surface. This is one of the main characteristic difference in comparison with the another type where that particular leaf stem is very much green - cream in color.

As for now I had found 4 different varieties been in circulation in Malaysia
- 2 Big Version and 2 Small Version:

1) Bethlehem Star - Small Leaf (5 Pointed) Red Stem
2) Bethlehem Star - Small Leaf (5 Pointed) Yellow Stem

3) Black Velvet Begonia - Big Leaf (7 Pointed) Yellow Stem - Common

4) Black Velvet Begonia - Big Leaf (7 Pointed) Yellow Stem - Hybrid
- Foliage has a Clouded Green Appearance with wider lobes on Leaf

This one has a beautiful blue velvet sheen that makes the heart shiver.
Truly a keeper and should cultivate as one of the treasured collection.

I used to grew this using pebbles instead of soil medium as I had lost confidence using any of the convention medium, especially cocopeat which is wildly used in for foliage propagation.

And often, I will stripe off all the cocopeat of from the pot and replant it using mop-wick as hydroponic system. It seemed to be very stable and the growth is progressive. 

This Black Begonia is hardy and able to handle some hard and rough.
It does have some hairy rough edges where there are stained when over-watered but beyond that they are indeed a black to keep.

If many a plant you can consider a feminine characteristics, 
I had yet to see them bloom and show it's it's inflorescence. 
This one is truly a masculine breed.

These are the pictures of my Begonia in my collection where I kept carelessly and they just grew without much care. As you can see that they seemed to be very compact and grew very well in a hanging basket.

Here I want to show you the Blue Sheen that is very much coveted. It is indeed very difficult to get them on camera due to a slight angle that makes that distinct feature visible.

This is one of the main characteristics where the stem and rhizome is very red in color.

I just love the compact feature this particular one gives in the garden, grown on grown where there rhizome is grown on pebbles.

Here is the link where I had put together a list of all the begonias that I had come across. A database of all the different types & their characteristics. Please click on the link on the title above for the post.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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