> Volume 61 (January/February 1994, pages 23 - 24)
by Mary Weinberg
B. carrieae is in the section Magnusia. It was
first discovered in Ocozocoautla in the State of Chiapas, Mexico by Thomas
MacDougall on April 13, 1967. It was described by Rudolf Ziesenhenne in
the May, 1976 issue of the Begonian, and named in honor of Carrie
B. carrieae is a rhizomatous begonia. It sends
out lateral rhizomes freely, which makes a nice full plant. It has large
lobed leaves of bright lime green with a rugose surface; veins are deep
set, giving the leaves a puffy effect. Leaves are covered with simple
short hairs. Leaf stems are covered with scale-like hairs dividing into
longer terminal hairs. The flowers are white, having tepals 3/4 of an inch
long. B. carrieae blooms in late winter or early spring, and is a moderate
One August I received a 1" piece of rhizome from
Martin Johnson via Dan Haseltine. It was partially rooted, and had grown
one leaf by the time I picked it up at Dan's. I put it into a sweater box
that contained a mixture of perlite and cut-up sphagnum to continue its
root growth. In the fall I potted it in my usual soiless mix, adding an
extra handful of perlite.
If you have tried B. carrieae and have not done
well with it, use the following methods. I have taken most of this
information from suggestions in past issues of the
Begonian and find they have been helpful to me.
Light: I have B. carrieae under lights, about
14" away from the surface of the shelf. Its color is very good, bright,
neither faded nor too dark in color.
Growing Medium: A very course loose mix is recommended
for B. carrieae. I used my soiless mix (consisting of 2 parts
sphagnum peat moss, 1 part vermiculite, 1 part perlite, and 2 tablespoons
of powdered horticultural lime). When potting B. carrieae I added
an extra small handful of perlite to the 4" pot. Clay pots are
recommended, as this begonia will do best if the roots get air.
Water: Do not overwater. B. carrieae likes to
have its growing medium dry out between waterings.
Humidity: To keep the leaves in good condition
humidity is necessary; but it should not be considered a terrarium plant.
Temperature: Keep B. carrieae on the cool side.
It does not care for heat, according to Rudolf Ziesenhenne.
Propagation: B. carrieae can be tricky to
propagate because of its hairy stems. In the Begonian of
September 1977, Martin Johnson wrote of his propagation method: he trimmed
a leaf, leaving the center about 3" in diameter with a 3" stem. He filled
a 4" pot with perlite, moistened it well, and put the leaf on top of it.
He placed the pot in a clear plastic shoe box with about 1" of water. The
leaf stem sent out roots all over the top of the perlite, and several leaf
buds developed on the perlite.
Mary's article first appeared in the Chicago