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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Star Begonia / Begonia heracleifolia - 'U578'


This particular type of Begonia is commonly known as Star Begonia often identified as a Gryphon Begonia due to the majestic look of the foliage display. Alternatively it's also known as Pegasus Begonia, all these variants and types are basically labelled as Begonia heracleifolia.

It is easily identified with the Star Shaped big sized foliage - very much behaves like a rhizome begonia which I would consider a hardy plant especially when the plant grows well and had already established itself. Most of these types of Begonia are native plant from Mexico where it had been identified with few other variants and types especially the green leaf types and it's shade. 

Unlike most sensitive types of begonias - this particular type seemed to very hardy and also grows in huge leaf span in the right conditions. These can grow very well in moist soil mix medium. However they also have the tendency to suddenly go dormant and may also wither away if exposed to some sort of stress - And so a lot of care must be given as these are not exposed to sudden stressful matters as such as cats or pets sitting on them, nesting animals turning the begonia pot into a their home - any of those sorts can be fatal for this plant.

I understand there are so many cultivar and hybrids from this particular type which is rather confusing as some of them do revert back to their parentage features given the growing conditions. Hence the identification purpose is very much challenging rather its more identified by begonia plant enthusiast seeking different variations and pattern rather than specific name & identification. There are easily 300-500 different types and variants of this particular Star Begonia - some are already labelled and identified but mostly are lost and generally labelled as Star Begonia / Begonia heracleifolia.

I must also emphasize that the U in Begonia U578 denotes as unidentified begonia with the number attached to it and are placed in a website for collective database for future identification - hence if any botanist / taxonomist were able to identify and able to name them without much confusion or repetition.  

However this particular one may highly be a Hybrid, discovered in Thailand, in Chiang Mai Plant Market - it was purchased in Summer 2007 by by Charles Jaros and Maxine Zinman.

Quoting from:
The American Begonia Society's Unidentified Species Listing

U578: (U number assigned 6/09) Thailand, purchased Chiang Mai, plant market, summer 2007 by Charles Jaros and Maxine Zinman. Rhizomatous, large leaved, lobed, medium green with dark chocolate brown overlay, spotted and streaked, and bordered leaf edge, light green umbo, light green veining. Upper surface scabrous, margins strigose. Undersurface showing green veins, upper chocolate markings are burgundy, red collar at umbo attachment. Stems green with red streaks with one short, stiff, red hair coming from most streaks. Possibly a hybrid. Mary Bucholtz, Charles Jaros


The Main Characteristics here I want to emphasise is the strong Black Borders which appears along the Foliage Lobed Pattern.  This begonia heracleifolia has the black borders which are prominent and show strong visibly along the leaf perimeter and also the black is fully cover on the leaf surface with slight green tones appears on the veins.

This appearance have strong appearance only in shade and may change colors when strongly exposed to bright sunlight. There are also strong burgundy coloration at the back leaf without enveloping the green pigmentation.

This one is very similar to the Begonia Chivalry except for the grandeur leaf formation that is more on the star shape. The dark veins are more pronouns with the green marbled tones in between the veins.

Back Leaf Appearance:
This appearance have strong appearance only in shade and may change colors when strongly exposed to bright sunlight. There are also strong burgundy coloration at the back leaf without enveloping the green pigmentation.

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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