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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 31, 2002

Begonias will have a starring role at Blaisdell

By Heidi Bornhorst

Begonias are among those old-time shady garden plants. I remember them well from small-kid time. My mom had a pink garden that she prized. She taught us that these begonias were edible — tangy and sour, but 'ono! However, she didn't like it so much when my hungry friends and I munched on her pinks. But that's how kids learn.

An ideal environment for Begonia foliosa is a shady area with moisture and protection from the wind.

Photo courtesy of Lyon Arboretum

Begonia foliosa is a gorgeous begonia. It has been propagated by Liz Huppman and her energetic volunteers at Lyon Arboretum, and will be offered at their plant sale on Saturday at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.

This is a lovely begonia, with white flowers and fern-like leaves. It grows one to two feet tall. As with most begonias, it likes shade, moisture and protection from wind. Mauka gardens make it very happy. It is ideal in the shady garden or under a tree where a lot of other flowering plants will not bloom.

These begonias will be among the thousands of plants at the plant sale. More than 35 different nurseries participate in this popular garden event. Also available will be native Hawaiian plants, heliconias, gingers, fruit trees, water plants, herbs, ferns, ti, orchids, anthuriums, cacti and succulents, bonsai, bromeliads (including tillandsias), day lilies, palms, and plants for landscaping and lanai.

Lyon Arboretum spring plant sale

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Blaisdell Exhibition Hall



You also can get advice from plant experts. Professional horticulturists will be there, including Richard Criley, Mel Wong and Ray Uchida, to help you with ailing or lackluster plants. Bring a sample with as much evidence (leaves, stems, roots, soil) as possible to help them determine the cause and the cure.

If the plants weren't enough of an attraction, there will be handicrafts from Hui Hana Hawaii, an organization made up of talented volunteers at the arboretum. There will be fresh leis, jams and jellies, books, activities for keiki and more.

Proceeds help to support many programs at the arboretum, which is in the back of Manoa Valley and is run by the University of Hawai'i-Manoa.

Heidi Bornhorst is director of Honolulu's botanical gardens. Reach her by e-mail at islandlife@honoluluadvertiser.com.