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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Black Velvet Begonia - Green Cloud Variety

Photo Credit to Dr Rabiatuadawiyah Kari


In comparison to Bethlehem Star, this particular one is more larger and more broader. 
The leaves seemed to be more clouded looking - something of like a watercolor featured paint on the center with some green tones.  At first, I just brushed off thinking that it is just a singular instability factor - happens sometimes when begonia are in state of morph when they are in different conditions - however, I had noticed that this occurrence are quite stable and also noticed these features are quite prominent among other begonia collectors around my region.

However, this particular ID is unknown. 
Similar characteristics denote that it could be a hybrid between another Black colored Star Begonia
/ Begonia heracleifolia - 'U578'  or another close breed with Begonia Chivalry. 

1) Bigger leaf formation in comparison to Bethlehem Star (7 pointed Star)
2) Leaf Center Coloration is Cloudy Green like a Watercolor effect.
3) Leaf Lobes are much larger and visible compared to the Common Black Velvet Begonia
4) Leaf Stem appears very long in yellow color with Red Furry Hairs (not compacted rhizome type)


However not all foliage have this Clouded Green Features - as this appears only in 1-2 leaves in the whole plant, sort of the begonia is pushing off the variegation away from it's system as some plants do when they try to revert to their origin parent plant. 

I had seen this effect appearing on the Variegated Creeping Fig - where once they started to creep on a wall - it had started to push all the variegated colored parts into a singular trailing branch and the rest reverted back to full green and with vigorous growth while the variegated branch remained stunted and appeared all white, eventually that part slowly withered away and the whole creeping fig turned into a monster growing plant and the variegated colored part totally vanished from the whole plant structure. I had also seen these same characteristics appearing on Variegated Philodendron - Pink Princess and Variegated Alocasia Macrorrhiza.

Begonias does morph and try to push away their variegated or parent hybrid colors and may accomplish doing so when the plant had grown into stability but at times, these abnormally still appear in variants and can be seen in these conditions - also these also happens when this begonias are cultivated using seed propagation where there are some new variations appears among cross pollination.

Also growing conditions matters - Begonias are known to change colors when receive too much bright indirect light in comparison to medium with heavy shade, especially the coloration of Begonia Martin Mystery where it may turn to fully reddish burgundy tones in bright light to more silvery pink notes when in full shade. Similar characteristics appears to some Cane Begonia Maculata Albo Picta Hybrids when their dots and speckles disappear when they receive bright indirect sunlight.

I had once experienced a Black Velvet Begonia gone totally dormant and when it came back - it started to have green colored variegation pups on the leaves when it started growing from the dormant rhizomes. This may happen when the plant would had gone through some stress factor and may change its growing conditions - as the green coloration denotes its need to photosynthesis.

However, not all begonias are hardy and able to morph to such conditions - Begonia Iron Cross are not so forgiving - the dark pigmentation slowly disappearing into a thin line with the edges appearing burned and eventually succumbs to its death if they are overwatered or lacking humidity. These strong furry types requires special conditions but some can be acclimatized when the right conditions are met:
(medium / watering / humidity / shade factor)

And so, I would say to each begonia type is unique by itself, not all begonias are the same - do cultivate the ones that does well in your own garden conditions and specifically in the areas where it is ideal conditions are met where it is airy, humid, receive bright shade and protected from direct hot sun and rain.

Care Tips:

I had killed twice thinking that this one is hardy, often watering it and keeping the medium constantly moist. I later change the location where I hang it in a hanging pot in semi-shaded area and only water them when I find the medium appears to be like cement dry.

At first it appeared that they were almost dying and few leaves fallen off - rotten, this is due to the over-watering effect, eventually what appears to be like going dormant - it had spring back to life and new leaf emerging and the colors more vibrant.

Fast Draining - Soil Based

Water only when the Medium is Dry

I use Foliar Fertilizer - Once a Week with 1/2 Dilution Strength.

Place in Bright Shade area - Ideal like a Balcony Plants.

I realized that these behave very much like a succulent plants - less watering, medium dry before watering and place in a hanging pot - seemed to be very successful in this arrangement in comparison to monthly sudden deaths when I place it on ground where there is water retention and high humidity.
These do not like water on their leaves rather only on the medium.

Begonia Common Names and Images

Do click on the Link Above ☝
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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