Tuberous Begonias

With the exception of Semperflorens (Bedding begonias), tuberous begonias (Begonia Tuberhybrida) are probably the type of begonia best-known and most widely-grown and enjoyed by the average gardener around the world. For many years it was thought they were delicate plants that had to be grown in hot-houses. In fact, they may be grown successfully in suitable sites in the open garden, which puts them within the reach of most gardeners.

The tuberous root system of this group enables them to become dormant over the winter period and thus survive (when lifted and stored) and grow again when the weather becomes warmer. This winter dormancy permits a greater range of climate zones in which they may be grown outside.

Flower types

The development of the tuberous hybrids has brought us considerable variety of form, shape, and color. The following terms describe the flower types found within the group.

The petals have a fine edge that is a different color from the main part of the flower. In describing a picotee, the ground or main color is given first and the edge next, so 'Jean Blair' is a yellow-red picotee, or a picotee with a yellow main color and a fine red edge.
This describes a flower with two colors that merge, but where the edge is not defined enough to be classed as a picotee.
Camellia form:
This refers to the shape of the flower, in which the center appears like a camellia flower. It is not seen in modern hybrids.
This is a begonia with a flower center resembling a rosebud.
This describes flower petals that are wavy. They vary from the two forms above, which have flat petals.
The petals on these flowers have serrated edges. This type is sometimes marketed as Lace begonias.