Begonia’s

image-25You are all probably getting tired of my yard but I am so loving it. I still have a long way to go and drool over Kit’s each time she posts a picture.

I have always loved Begonia’s and this year for the first time — ever, I planted them.

I was surprised to find that there are over 550 varieties. In fact one article says over 1200. My favorite are the tuberous with the larger blooms. I love the vibrant colors.

Begonia’s have been around for awhile. The first documentation was by a Franciscan monk, who found fibrous begonias in Brazil in 1690.

Like so many of our modern day plants/flowers they have a medicinal history. In China they were used as a disinfectant for wounds, stop swelling, ease colds and upset stomachs. In other areas of the world the sap was used for toothaches or to cure kidney ailments. The flowers were used to ease burns.

Again, our modern day garden flowers and plants have a history as a food. Some species leaves were cooked or eaten raw with the flowers. Tuberous begonia stems have a similar texture and flavor as rhubarb. In some countries they are used to make sauce for fish dishes. The flowers are used in salads. I’m thinking that would be a colorful addition to the table. It’s said the Chinese make cheese with the milk curdling sap. They are a good souces of vitamin C and were used to prevent scurvy when citrus fruits weren’t available.

For me, I’m just going to enjoy them. Maybe try to save the tubers, but if not it will be an annual purchase for my garden.

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10 responses to “Begonia’s

  1. I love Begonias, especially since they are a great shade flower and I have one flowerbed that is almost completely shade. I’ve never once eaten flowers in a salad, but I eat field greens, so I’m not sure what the difference is. Not sure I’m that adventurous, though. Thanks for the history behind this awesome flower!

  2. So pretty. And I love seeing photos of your garden. Fascinating facts about the begonia, thanks for sharing. It’s good to try new things in the garden. This year I plan to plant up cyclamen in tubs. Never tried before, and I’ll probably be calling on Kit for advice at some stage. But nothing ventured, right?

    • I’ve never really did gardening. For one thing I don’t have a lot of luck and inside plants, forget it. I can kill silk flowers. But this yard is small enough that it isn’t overwhelming and I’ve been browsing the Jackson & Perkins catalog for new idea’s for next year.

  3. lovely!!!! I adore begonias. AND I love, love the medicinal facts. Very cool. Jillian

  4. Valerie J. Patterson

    I’m not bored with your yard posts at all. I like seeing what you’re doing and I love begonias. I have a huge hanging basket of them on the front porch. Love the bright orange and yellow color of the big blooms.

  5. I never tire of your yard, Lavada. We grow lots of begonias, and love all the various types. Most of our hanging baskets this year are of begonias, though sadly most have suffered because the awful summer. Still, there’s always next year. Look forward to seeing more of your garden in future. xx

    • We had an unusually hot summer so will see how they do in future years. I have really enjoyed them and can’t imagine not having them now that I finally took the leap and planted them.

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