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We have been amazed at the hardiness of many Argentine begonias, and B. cucullata is the latest addition to that list. This tender-looking selection from just south of Tucuman, Argentina has been completely hardy into the single digits. In the wild, it grows in dense shade, but in our trials it has excelled both in sun or light shade. B. cucullata makes a 2' wide x 18" tall mound of glossy, green leaves, topped all summer with clusters of large white flowers. This is one of the four original species that were used to breed the common bedding begonias. If your soil is well prepared, don't be surprised to see a few seedlings. From Zone 9 south, keep a close eye out for weediness potential.
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