Posts Tagged ‘foliage plant’

Begonia in a different style

May 10th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Begonia 'Gryphon'

We always tend to think of begonias as flowering plants – whether it’s the dramatic double-flowered types, the neat bedding types or the prolific basket varieties. But there are also varieties grown for their foliage and the star is one called ‘Gryphon’.

‘Gryphon’ makes a big plant, 40-45cm high and 45-50cm wide. Every large darkly metallic leaf is jaggedly divided into points and streaked in silver but the stems and undersides are completely different. Beneath each leaf the colour is orange-red and that vivid colouring peeps out whenever the leaves turn or are held at an angle or are ruffled by wind.

As a specimen in a container it makes a dramatic patio plant that’s happy in sun, if kept consistently moist, or in partial shade if watering is a little less regular. Once established, ‘Gryphon’ is unexpectedly drought-tolerant.

Three plants in a 45cm pot will develop into a bold specimen plant for the patio. Alternatively use ‘Gryphon’ towards the front of bold tropical-style plantings featuring cannas and dahlias to hide their bare basal stems.

‘Gryphon’ is also more cold tolerant than many begonias, it will take 5C outside but in the autumn it pays to wheel your pot into the conservatory where it will continue to look good right through the winter. So why not give this very different style of outdoor begonia a try?