May, 2013

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Next Meeting

When:  Monday, May 13, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.
Where:  Mounts Auditorium
March Refreshments:  - Linda Di Santi
Badge Plant:  - Nancy Cohen
Speaker:  - Doris Happel "Creating Shade for Begonias"

The Begonia Society of the Palm Beaches Garden at the Mounts

On Saturday April 6th we had our monthly Begonia Garden clean up. It was time to dead head many of the begonia blooms. There was a good deal of clean up as well. Since most of the plants were planted last May at the inception of the garden we discussed some replanting placement. Patrick Dempsey collected many seeds for a special project he is working on while volunteering elsewhere at the Mounts. We edged the garden again and made it look cleaner and neater. Still have not heard if our sign has come in as yet. Nancy and I decided that we just don't have time to plan a good dedication at this time of year. We will have the dedication in the Fall.

President’s Message

If you missed our speaker Kathleen Burt-Utley at the last meeting you missed out on a wealth of information. She was most informative in her presentation and was remarkable in being able to look a picture of a begonia and tell us its history.

Our Society has been asked by the Begonia Society of Tampa to help out at their Convention in March 2014. They helped us out when we had our convention here in West Palm and both Virginia and Charles think that we need to reciprocate in kind. We will have some discussion of this at our May 13th meeting.
Ed Whalen
President, 2013

May Program

Doris Happel "Creating Shade for Begonias"

Doris Happel, our past president and great begonia grower, will speak about creating shade for begonias.

Begonias are not fussy, but they do like shade. Begonias work well under many shade conditions. Doris will talk about best trees and techniques for various types of shade, which begonia types like dappled shade, morning sun, dark shade, or quite a lot of sun, and how to get good shade quickly. Doris has an beautiful large begonia garden here in West Palm, and frequently shares her begonias and her knowledge with lucky begonia growers.

Meeting Minutes for April 8, 2013

Call to Order and Greetings

President Ed Whalen called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. He thanked everyone for their participation: Lee Statkewicz for keeping the building open for the meeting, Donnie Brown for refreshments, Michael Evans for posting the newsletter on the web, Nancy Cohen and Pat Dempsey for help in the Mounts’ begonia garden, and he recognized his own efforts for taking care of the begonias for the raffle.

Treasurer's Report was given by Frances Drescher.

Old Business

Last month all the begonias in the Mounts’ begonia garden were in bloom; this month they all had to be dead-headed. Pat Dempsey took beautiful photos (on display at tonight’s meeting) and needs help labeling the begonia varieties. Mounts will not let us put in our own bench, but we can purchase a bench of the type Mounts uses throughout the garden. We are running out of time to have the dedication of the begonia garden this year, so will postpone until next year.

A memorial service was held for Frances Hunter. Nancy Cohen, Charles Jaros, Sandy Arlund and Johanna Kitson attended what was a lovely service.

New Business

No new business.


Next month’s speaker will be Doris Happel. She will speak about “Creating Shade for Begonias.”

Badge Plant was supplied by Doris Happel and won by Sandy Arlund.

Meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandy Sklar
Recording Secretary


Program Notes

"Begonia sections Gireoudia and Weilbachia" was presented by Kathleen Burt-Utley and John F. Utley. Kathleen is a botanist, formerly from the University of New Orleans. She brings back herbarium specimens, many of which are from higher elevations and would not survive in New Orleans. Dried specimens will last for a long time if appropriate paper is used and there is no bug contamination.

Members were astounded by the presenter’s ability to recognize plants exhibiting significant variations as the same species. She discussed characteristics that are constant within a begonia species and other characteristics that vary within a species. Those that are constant include: whether the plant has rhizomes or canes; venation is either palmate or pinnate; presence or absence of bracteoles; pubescence type (scales, hairs, wooly or coarse) and stigma form. On the other hand, characteristics which vary within a species include the following: size and shape of parts; general size; number of sepals, petals and tepals; stamen number; color/maculation; and others.

Dr. Utley’s presentation included photos of numerous Central and South American species of the Gireoudia and Weilbachia sections. Some of them: B. imperialis, B. acutiloba, B. ludicra, B. turrialbae, B multinervia, B. pinetorum, B. glandulosa, B. corredorana, B. involuerata, B. Manicata, B. cardiocarpa, B. contrifolia, B. plebeja, B. carolinifolia, B. thiemei, B. heracleifolia, B. melamifolia