GenusBegonia See All Search Site
Origin of TaxonBorneo (Sarawak)
Growth HabitClimbing, Trailing/Rambling, Clumping, Groundcover
Begonia lichenora is an extremely rare, miniature species.
This is a very delicate and touchy plant which easily crashes and melts away.
Getting water on the stems and foliage seems to be a good way to make it melt, so avoid doing that.
It is somewhat difficult to know exactly what this plant wants or does not want in terms of culture.
In my experience, it is most vulnerable when cuttings are taken. They tend to melt and drop leaves. I thought I was going to lose the plant I obtained, as well as the cuttings I took from it, as they slowly withered away. Then after being essentially in stasis for many months, it finally started to grow. It seems that once it gets past the initial several months of adapting and stabilizing, it becomes somewhat stronger and then the growth is relatively fast. It becomes a little more robust as time goes on. That said, the plant is always at risk of melting, and I have heard from my source that an entire mature colony can rapidly crash. Therefore, it’s best to periodically take cuttings and transfer them to new propagation areas, so you always have “fresh” plants starting.
In the photo of the specimen clump in bloom, I am using a substrate of sphagnum, bark, and leaf litter. One other cutting was grown on a potting soil type of mix with live moss on top, and another cutting was on mostly sphagnum, but topped with lava rock. The roots and base of the cutting were touching the sphagnum, but the lava rock sat under most of the plant. Those two latter cuttings both stabilized and started growing well, so the plant seems somewhat adaptable, but very touchy and slow in the beginning.
The humidity is kept very high, in a sealed bin.
It looks best in low to medium light. Low light levels induce a bluish, iridescent coloration on the foliage.