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Turquoise Puya

Begonia brevirimosa subsp. exotica

This has got to be the most spectacular Begonia!  The Exotica Begonia (Begonia brevirimosa subspecies exotica) is an exciting rarity from the rain forests of New Guinea.  Its large, metallic-looking leaves sport bright-pink variegation that demands attention.  This is a naturally-occurring form, not a cultivated hybrid.  If you can meet its basic needs (some warmth & humidity) it is surprisingly easy to grow!

Begonia brevirimosa subsp. exotica

The Exotica Begonia has a shrub-like habit and grows to about 3 feet tall.  The vibrant leaves can get quite big - about 8 to 12 inches long.  Each leaf has a glossy, bronze-green background, with pink streaks that almost look painted on.  The coloration is especially vivid on the mature leaves.  The leaves seem to develop the most pink in bright light with higher temperatures & humidity, while cooler, darker conditions promote more green.  Its pretty, pink flowers appear throughout the year.

Begonia brevirimosa subsp. exotica

The plant enjoys warmth, but not excessive heat.  Temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees F (16-29C) have worked well.  It reportedly can tolerate temperatures in the 40s (7C), but it probably can't survive frost.  It has grown well for me at 45-50% humidity, however the leaves look a little better with higher humidity.  It likes bright light, but not much direct sun, which may burn the leaves.  Like most Begonias, it prefers moist, fertile soil that is well-draining.

Begonia brevirimosa subsp. exotica

Photo #1 courtesy of Misolonax

 

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Turquoise Puya

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