Ask a Question forum: Cathedral Begonia (Cathedral Windows in nurseries) No Longer has Round Leaves

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San Diego/Imperial Beach CA
4carriecorne
Dec 10, 2017 9:30 PM CST
It seems my Mother's Cathedral Begonia has reverted back to one of the 2 cross bred begonias it was created with. (No I don't know which 2 plants the Cathedral was created from. I wish I did.)

That is the only thing I think of as it's leaves are no longer round and cup-like and are
without see through ovals. It has retained the beautiful colors on it's leaves and has the ruby red stem. This was my mother's begonia some40 years ago when I removed a section of it and planted it.

Can anyone tell me why it no longer exhibits it's traits? Also.... Can I graft or pollinate or anything to revert it back to it's glory?
Thank You , Carrie J.

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Dec 11, 2017 12:57 AM CST
Welcome!

Hmmm...how to explain this...

A plant, like a begonia, that grows larger by producing new buds or rhizomes or bulbs (as opposed to a tree that just simply grows larger) will slowly, genetically, drift. The further (not distance but generations) they get from the original parent, the more characteristics change.

Forty years is a long way from that original plant. There is no way you can go back and, technically, its still a Cathedral Begonia.
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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purpleinopp
Dec 12, 2017 9:00 AM CST
Hi & welcome! What a lovely Begonia! There are not may pics of it in the database here, but here's the entry:
Stained Glass Begonia (Begonia 'Cathedral')

The pics there look like those plants are getting a lot more sun. I would suspect reduced sun is the reason for the changed appearance.

The rhizomatous Begonia that I have has similar schizo tendencies like this, the smaller leaves are more pointed, and some really big leaves are almost perfectly round.

The rhizome of yours looks great. You could snap it apart into several pieces if you want to have more pots of this.
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