The rex begonia is one of about 8 groups of begonias. Its “showy” foliage is often a distinguishing trait. Because of its appearance it is often showcased and displayed because it is said that, “there is no such thing as an ugly rex begonia”.
The rex begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. These plants prefer shaded, humid conditions and rich, aerated soil like that found on the forest floor.
The leaves of the rex begonia come in a large variety of different colors and patterns. Their size can range from 1 inch – 8 inches large. The leaves are the most defining feature of the rex begonia. Please take a moment and admire wide variety of patterns and color combinations:
The flowers are much less significant than the leaves. They are much smaller in size and can vary in color as much as the leaves and grow in clusters. The rex begonia grows both male and female flowers. However, the flower stalks are often removed so the plant can focus on growing leaves.
Rex begonia are rhizomatous, meaning they have rhizomes. Rhizomes are located at the stems of the plant, usually underground, and is used to store starches, proteins, and other nutrients. Rhizomes also send out new roots and shoots that may grow upwards towards the surface of the soil. If a rhizome is ever split up, a new plant can be propagated from each rhizomatous piece.
-The primary enemies of rex begonias are mildew and botrytis, both fungus diseases marked by white spores.
-Rex begonia hybrids have various descriptive names. Examples: Boston Cherries & Chocolate,Escargot, Fireworks, Snow Queen, etc.