Begonia grandis ‘Heron’s Pirouette’
Common name: Hardy begonia
Begonia grandis ‘Heron’s Pirouette’ was planted in 2019 along the ornamental grass path in bed 35C. This hardy begonia is a tuberous perennial with sprays of pink flowers that rise above the large wing-shaped foliage and keep flowering until frost. It grows to 60 cm/24 in height and width. Heron’s Pirouette was collected by Dan Hinkley in 1997 in Japan.
When I first saw this plant and its sign, a Fantasia-style heron doing a pirouette popped into my imagination. But the name ‘Heron’s’ came from Hinkley’s famous Heronswood Nursery and the ‘Pirouette’ part from when he first saw the plant in Japan. It was the masses of deep pink flower clusters pirouetting with a dancer’s grace that caught Hinkley’s keen eye. Draped on slender pendulous forms, the flowers delivered a non-stop performance. Hinkley's views as a plant explorer help us appreciate his fine mind.
Text and photo by Hughie Jones.