Begonia 'Black Mamba' is a rhizomatous Begonia created by Brad Thompson in 1993. Mr. Thompson created this lovely Begonia from a cross between B. 'Peggy Frost' x B. 'Dr. Cleo'. It has very large almost black leaves that can get very large, about 12 inches (30 cm) across and are held upright on mature plants. I received a cutting of this Begonia about a year ago and have been impressed with its growth habit and the color of its leaves. They are very easy plants to grow and if one likes unique color, then you should give this plant a try. Mr. Thompson has created many other Begonias in what is called the Snake Series. I wish I could collect all in this series.
Blooming: This Begonia has pink flowers that really contrast with the foliage well. Flower stalks are held above the foliage.
Culture: Begonia 'Black Mamba' needs partial shade to full shade with a rich soil mix. At the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand. Plants are well watered and allowed to dry slightly before watering again. We fertilize them monthly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. They do very well in lower light situations and hold their color well. The plants also make attractive hanging baskets.
Propagation: Begonia 'Black Mamba' is propagated by cuttings either leaf or from the rhizome.
Begonia 'Black Mamba' was featured as Plant of the Week September 4-10, 2009.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.