This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I have a lot of a hundred or more hybridized seedling begonias. They are more than a year old, and some of them are five feet high. The majority of them have been pinched back, and are from two feet upward in height. They are mostly hybrids of Begonia rubra, that variety having been used both as male and female parents in making the different crosses, with other varieties, including some bulbous-rooted ones. They show great diversity of style of growth, of form, size, and markings of the leaves; but the most of them have the leaves dotted more or less thickly with silvery white spots, which is entirely different from any of the parents. Judging from the size and health of the plants, in comparison with their parents, they are large enough to blossom. The questions I would ask you are these: 1st. Will they blossom or probably prove barren? 2d. If they will bloom, what age must they attain before doing so? If there is a probability of their proving barren, I would like to discard them, for they take much space.
If you think this statement of my experience of hybridizing the different species of begonias and the progress I have met with of interest. I will be thankful for an answer to the above questions in the Gardeners' Monthly. So. Weymouth, Mass.
[The plants will all flower, and probably this season. It must be very interesting to watch them as they develop. When they bloom we shall be glad to have the results for the magazine. - Ed. G. M].