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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Cane Begonia 'Albo-picta' (Updated Dec2020)

These cultivars are known as Angel wing Begonia or Dragon wing Begonia.
Basically they are very similar but identified by the shape of the leaves and the colors of the flowers.

They have this appearance like bamboo stalks especially when the stem grows taller, 
hence it's known as Cane Begonias.

I would recommend this particular breed for beginners 
as they are very hardy and robust.

It has an ability to grow in all different conditions,
from high humidity to hot dry weather (almost succulent growing conditions)

There have been a quite a search to ID this begonia 
which I would consider it might be futile as there are so many different names 
and ID of which the plant does look similar.

First, I thought this was Begonia 'Tamaya'

Then I realized that its actually a condition 
that had been applied to this begonia where it stands erect like a bamboo stalk 
and the leaves and flower blooms cascade down.
The pruning and stalking it upright sort of gives it that name - something like a bonsai.

The spots on the leaves are quite stable compared to other cultivars. 
However they seemed to diminish when exposed too much to bright sunlight may burn the leaves.
This one however is a shade lover.

This Cane Begonia tend to grow tall and upward if it tied to a pole but there are setbacks
as the bottom part of the stem can be very stressed and may start to rot. 
Another factor can be the plant is too heavy and unable to handle it's own weight.

It is therefore best to keep the plant just around waist level by pruning. The cut stem can be used for new plant propagation as these cane begonias don't seemed to last more than 2 years.

I had noticed that the Cane tend to bend downward and so placing a pole or a rod to keep it upright goes a long way. Do take care on the watering regime as this one can succumb to root rot easily.

By then, it's too late to safe the plant. 
Therefore, do take cuttings and make spares, just in case your single specimen plant dies.
Or pass few plants to friends and family so that they would pass it to you in case yours dies.

Another thing that I noticed is the specks /spots on the leaves tend to disappear when the plant becomes mature. It's more evident when it is still young. Also, the spots seemed to have the iridescence metallic sheen, sort of gleams when observe in an angle.

The inflorescent starts with a coin shaped pendant, similar to a bleeding heart flower.
As the flower grows bigger it tend to form into a triangular winged formation with a seedpod.
Truly remarkable.

It is understood that the flowers are edible. The heart-shaped flowers do have a slight sour taste and palatable however the seedpod flowers have a bitter taste which I would not recommend.
These small petals can be used for salads, garnish and if you fancy having them even for tea.

The flowers can be very showy but these aren't fragrant.


I had replanted & propagate it and currently having 3 pots of these. They are indeed a slow growing plant - the earlier canes somehow had started to become dormant and fortunately I was able to cuttings before the begonia started to have root rot and the the whole cane (mother plant) started to rot away.

I realized that when the rot start to take place - even if it is at the most lower end of the stem, it is still too late to safe as the bacteria had already infected the whole cane even-though it doesn't appear to do so.

Jan 2020

Feb 2020

May 2020
These (top 3 pic) had grown nicely from the cutting planted on this Jan 2020 (1st pic) / Feb 2020 (2nd pic) and May 2020 (3rd pic). This begonia is growing slow and steady - without losing even a leaf.

These top 2 pictures - these are currently growing from the fence side where it receives bright morning sun - some of the leaves had turned almost yellow as it is exposed too much to direct sun.


These updated pictures seemed to give better clearer picture on how exactly the plant looks like:

Other matters are very much similar with the general information about Cane Begonias.

Do click below for more information on Cane Begonias.

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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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