Coastal and Tropical South
Brad's Begonia World
Brad Thompson has gathered a host of information about one of my favorite plants on his website, Brad's Begonia World. Although he admits he's still working on the site, it's packed with useful begonia facts and links. Thompson is a begonia breeder and explains much about growing from seed and hybridizing, but he doesn't talk over your head if you're just a rank amateur like me. You'll find good descriptions of each begonia family type, growing instructions and a few pictures. From this site you can link to the American Begonia Society with databases of begonia photographs, conference information, scholarly articles and membership information.
Favorite or New Plant
A big perennial that is too often overlooked, sanchezia (Sanchezia speciosa) can be a fine companion to copper plant and others grown for their fascinating leaf patterning. But sanchezia's flowers are equally admirable, spiky yellow and red tubes in clusters held above the leaves on erect stems. It blooms most of the year in the Tropics and easily climbs to 6 feet tall if left alone. Sanchezia grows well along the Southern Coasts from spring through fall, roots from cuttings, and makes a fine container plant, too.