Sunday, April 18, 2010

Strawberry Begonia/Geranium

Strawberry Begonia or Strawberry Geranium (Saxifraga stolonifera): I must not be able to make up my mind which name to use because I swap back & forth from moment to moment.  Some of my recent postings included pictures of its diminutive asymmetrical blossom, and that seems to have sparked some interest.

The individual blossom is slightly smaller than a dime, so you have to lean close to see the delicate intricacies and pink highlights of the flower.  Several flower stalks, each supporting ten or more blooms, rise above the variegated foliage, creating a hovering cloud of white.

Several of the stalk's blossoms will open simultaneously, and more will continue to open over time.  The blooms last several days, so the show is likely to last nearly a month.

Growing in filtered shade, the blossoms are not its only attribute.  Even when not in bloom, the 3 inch tall mat of variegated foliage is quite eye-catching.  It has slowly spread outward from the planting site; the three original plants have about doubled their coverage in a year.

The evergreen leaves made it through our recent 18 degree winter without protection.  The plant did seem to "shrink" some during the winter, though I did not witness any damage to the plant.  Perhaps leaf litter simply buried some of them.

Leaves that have been accidentally broken off, can easily be rooted by simply placing them in to moist potting soil.  I have transferred a couple of transplants created in this manner to a much shadier area (under a thick boxwood), and though a little early to tell, they seem to be doing well.

For gardeners looking for something a little different in their shady spot, you might consider the Strawberry Begonia.  Or maybe even the Strawberry Geranium.

1 comment:

  1. I was looking for information on Strawberry Begonia (a friend just gave me some starts) and found your blog. Nice pics and I just placed one of your pics on my Pinterest - credited of course.