Plant Database forum: Wax Begonia

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Dec 2, 2014 9:34 AM CST
Are there 2 different kinds of 'wax Begonias?' If so, can anybody help me get a handle on the difference? From the entries in the DB here, listing one as synonym of the other, doesn't that mean they are the same thing?

This plant:
Wax Begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)

Is listed as a synonym of this one:
Wax Begonia (Begonia cucullata)

I wonder if these 2 entries should be merged? If not, please explain the nomenclature protocol that separates Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum as a different plant from what I would think is a less specific synonym, Begonia x semperflorens. Is not the former a sub-entity of the latter?

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Dec 2, 2014 2:51 PM CST

Plants Admin

I'll take care of this, Tiffany. You're right: There's too much confusion here and too many errors. I'll look into this and make the appropriate changes.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Dec 2, 2014 3:22 PM CST

Plants Admin

It actually wasn't as bad as I had suspected. I checked four taxonomic databases and found that they all agreed on some things and disagreed on others. For now, the answer seems to be that B. x semperflorens-cultorum is an accepted name. It is different from B. semperflorens because it displays characteristics of more than just the semperflorens group of begonias, so our database is correct in distinguishing between the two.

The disagreements are mainly over the placement of B. semperflorens. All of the databases agree that it's a synonym, but it's listed in various places as a synonym for B. cucullata, B. cucullata var. cucullata, and B. cucullata var. hookeri. I'm leaving it in its present spot as a synonym for B. cucullata until these disputes have been resolved.

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