71 (July/August 2004)
by Charles Jaros
B. U446 is a shrub-like begonia that was
collected by Mary Sizemore in the fall of 1996. Mary collected this
beautiful begonia in BA-VI National Park, North Vietnam, this area is near
Hanoi. B. U446 was found growing at approximately 2000' in an
understory forest and growing terrestially, the plant was approximately 2'
tall. B. U446 has shrub-like growth, light green leaves with veins
that are slightly red. Leaves are 5 1/2" long and 1 1/2" wide. Flowers are
a light pink and occur along the stem of the plant at each leaf/branch
I acquired my plant of B. U446 in a 4" pot from
Tim Anderson of Palm Hammock Orchid Estates, Miami in 2000. No "U"
number was assigned at this time so the begonia was labeled unknown
shrublike, Vietnam, Mary Sizemore. B. U446 was placed in my
shadehouse on an upper shelf where it flourished until our hot Florida
summer heat came along.
Often my shade house temperatures can reach the high
90's to 100 degrees. I use 70% shadecloth on my shadehouse and a
fiberglass roof to control watering. I noticed the leaves becoming singed
and growth decreasing. I immediately moved B. U446 to a lower shelf
in a shadier spot. B. U446 was much happier, but did not like the
heat. It limped along until fall when the temperatures became cooler. When
this occurred B. U446 revived from its doldrums and started growing
This growth occurred all through the winter and spring
until summer came along again and growth slowed considerably. B.
U446 was now in a 6" pot and not enjoying the Florida summer. I
decided at this point to move B. U446 out of the shadehouse to
under my liveoak trees in the front yard. There it received filtered light
and shared the area with Aroids, ferns and other begonias. B.U446
loved the spot and started showing vigorous growth again. It was now moved
into an 8" pot, no flowers as of yet. I also started using Spray N' Grow
on my begonias along with my Nutricote time released fertilizer with
|Above: Mary Bucholtz photographed B. U446.
Right: A close up of the bloom photographed by Johanna Zinn
I decided to take B. U446 to the Oklahoma City
ABS Convention, although not a show plant I wanted to display it and see
if any ABS members knew anything about it. Also Thelma O'Reilly was
attending the convention and I hoped to have a "U" assigned. U446
was assigned by Thelma O'Reilly shortly after the convention.
B. U446 has continued to flourish; seems I had
finally found the right growing combination: Under the liveoak tree in the
summer, shadehouse the rest of the year. B. U446 is now in a 14"
container and is 3' tall.
This winter B. U446 bloomed for the first time
with an abundance of flowers along the stem of the plant from the leaf/
Through trial an error I finally found the growing
environment that B. U446 enjoyed and it has certainly paid off. I
am still trying to find that right spot for B.