Comment on John Boggan's blog entry: The begonia that broke my heart
Wow!!! Really great post!! Super nicely documented!
Do you regret not propagating it before you tested it? I'm definitely interested in tolerance as well...but if I thought some Anthurium leaf pattern was nice enough...then I probably would have propagated it before testing its limits. And a begonia is far easier to propagate than an Anthurium (unfortunately!).
Regarding lack of heat tolerance. Kartuz recently e-mailed me a link to an issue of International Rock Gardener (PDF). It has some really neat plants...including a couple of those awesome epiphytic Gesneriads from Chile (Sarmienta, Asteranthera, Mitraria) that I would love to try and grow. The title of his e-mail..."We can't grow these"...hehe. Kartuz says that they can't handle our SoCal heat but that they grow great up in San Francisco. He's probably right but I'd sure love if he was wrong!
So personally, if I had created a Begonia as beautiful but heat intolerant as yours...then I probably would have sent it to my friend Dan Newman (Hanging Gardens) in Pacifica (it's just South of San Fran on the coast). I would also have given it to my friend Dan Yansura who also lives in Pacifica. Newman has a greenhouse full of some of the neatest plants...mostly orchids and mostly cool growers...but with some other gems mixed in. Yansura has the largest collection of tree ferns that I've ever seen...around 20 or so different species all outside year around. So so amazing to see such a wide variety of tree ferns happily growing outside year around up there...many of them from unlikely countries. Right now Yansura is in Burma with some of our other friends in the LA Fern Society! I'm so jelly!!!
I'm sure that both Newman and Yansura would have really enjoyed your beautiful Begonia...and I'd be surprised if it wouldn't have thrived in their cool coastal conditions.
Of course I'm not saying that sharing it with errrr..."cooler" friends is what you should have done...I'm just saying that it's something that I probably would have done. I guess it's just something that's worth the effort for me to share with you...to perhaps keep in mind for future reference.
Are you going to keep trying the cross? The more times you try it...the greater the chances that you'll get an individual that has the best of both worlds...right? There's certainly an opportunity cost though.