Begonias are flowering perennial plants named for Michel Begon, a French botanist. With more than 1,500 species in the world today, these ornamental plants vary widely in size, shape, foliage and flowers. The American Begonia Society (ABS) classifies begonias into several different categories.
Cane-like begonias have hardy, smooth stems that look similar to bamboo. These begonias are also called angel wing begonias because of the shape of the leaf.
Shrub-like begonias grow on branches that form a bush-like shape. These begonias come in a wide range of sizes and leaf shapes.
The tuberous begonia enjoys worldwide popularity because of its large red, pink, white or yellow flowers. Tuberous begonias are suitable for colder climates because they become dormant in winter.
Semperfloren begonias are often called bedding begonias since they are widely used for mass planting and as borders in gardens. Semperflorens are the most widely cultivated type of begonias.
Rex hybrids have brightly colored, patterned leaves that tend to be paper thin. Rex hybrids require higher humidity and temperature levels than other types of begonias.
Trail-climbing, or trailing-scandent, begonias climb up trunks of trees, shrubs and poles. Most trail-climbing varieties bloom with pink or white flowers in the spring months.