A (Hardier) Begonia Resource Guide

By: Phil Van Soelen

Phil Van Soelen is the co-owner with Sherrie Althouse of California Flora Nursery, a small, unconventional nursery devoted to California…

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Many members of the genus Begonia are strong and durable, delightful in their variety, and quite at home outdoors in areas that had traditionally been considered inhospitable. Their memorable attributes are countless, the result of more than a century of hybridization and selection—good breeding, you might say. Lately, author Derick Pitman has been experimenting with some of the hardier new selections of begonia in his Sacramento garden (USDA zone 9, Sunset zone 14). As a companion to his article on some of the hardier begonias in the October 2009 issue of Pacific Horticulture, we offer this list of sources for those hardier begonias.

Nursery Sources

The following nurseries stock a good selection of the hardier begonias:

Cistus Nursery
22711 NW Gillihan Road
Portland (Sauvie Island), OR 97231
503/621-2233
www.cistus.com
Online catalog and walk-in

Far Reaches Farm
1818 Hastings Ave
Port Townsend, WA 98368
360/385 5114
www.farreachesfarm.com
Online plant list and walk-in (appointments only)

Kartuz Greenhouses
1408 Sunset Drive
Vista, CA 92081
760/941-3613, fax 760/941-1123
www.kartuz.com
Online catalog, mail-order only

Plant Delights
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, NC 27603
919/772-4794
www.plantdelights.com
Online catalog, mail-order only; walk-in by appointment only

Secret Garden Growers
29100 S Needy Road
Canby, OR 97013
503/651-2006
www.secretgardengrowers.com
Online catalog and walk-in

For Further Research

The following short list of books offers further information for the serious grower of begonias:

Brilmayer, Bernice. All About Begonias. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007.

Tebbitt, Mark C. Begonias: Cultivation, Identification and Natural History. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, 2005.

Thompson, Mildred and Edward. Begonias: The Complete Reference Guide. New York: Times Books, 1981.

The American Begonia Society was founded in California in the early 1900s. It remains a valuable resource for those interested in begonias. Visit the society at wwwbegonias.org..

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