This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This is a newly discovered and recently introduced (three years ago) species, a native of the Republic of Ecuador, and named in compliment to Froebel of Zurich, who first grew and distributed it. It is a tuberous-rooted species, nearly allied to Begonia cinnabarina, and one of the easiest to grow and most gorgeous of the genus. Its leaves are radical, large, thick, uniformly green and pubescent, and in well grown plants envelop the flower-pots like the leaves of thrifty Cinerarias. The blossoms vary in color from rose to the most intense and vivid scarlet and glowing carmine, and are produced on long stems clear above the leaves.
The finest specimens of this lovely Begonia I have seen or heard of, I saw recently at Mr. Such's Nurseries, South Amboy, N. J. The plants were growing in seven-inch pots, on a bench near the glass in an"intermediate" house, and had some leaves that I found on measurement to be 15 by 13 inches wide, and flowers, from 2 to 3½ inches across. Mr. Taplin, the manager, tells me that they grow well in the coolest greenhouse, and again they do not object to a little heat, providing they have a light and airy position. They grow most luxuriantly, and bloom most profusely in autumn and winter, after which they rest for a period. F.