American Agriculturist p. 234 (June 1876)

Peter Henderson, Jersey City, N. J., exhibited a cut bloom of a double Begonia Verschaffeltii. This, the first of the double flowered Begonias, originated, we believe, with Mr. A. Gilson, a colored gardener, in charge of Mr. Barton's grounds at Barrytown, N.Y. Mr. Gilson was also the raiser of Achyranthes Gilsoni, that has for some years, by its extensive cultivation as a massing plant, made his name famous.

Formula hybridae: Begonia maculata Raddi x Begonia manicata Brongn.

American Florist, 4: 590 (Aug 1, 1889)

Under The name of Begonia Gibsoni I have for the last 13 years grown the double-flowering evergreen sort which is sometimes catalogued as B. Gilsoni, and I attributed its origin to Mr. Gibson, an English collector and for many years superintendent of one of the London parks. But Mr. Smith says I am mistaken, and that he himself not only is the author of the name Gilsoni, but also the one who gave me (in 1876) my first plant of it.

Its History is this: Mrs. Livingston, a lady from New York state and who had a colored gardener named Gilson, sent a piece of a new double-flowering begonia which her gardener had raised, to Mr. Smith for his opinion and wished him to suggest a name for it. Mr. Smith, in compliment to the gardener who raised the plant, named it after him, Begonia Gilsoni. And he informs me that it is the only contribution to horticulture, he knows of, that has been given by a colored man.

CybeRose note: Alexander Gilson also raised Achyranthes Verschaffeltii var. Gilsoni, sometimes listed as Achyranthes Gilsonii and Aschyranthes Gilsonii.

Gardeners' Chronicle, Horticultural Trade Journal 1927 p. 423

*carolineifolia? does not recognize carolinaefolia,
though I have found other references to it.

THIS interesting hybrid Begonia is the result of a cross made many years ago between B. manicata and B. carolinaefolia,* and although it is a great improvement upon its parent species it is seldom met with nowadays.

Where the true plant is grown it invariably attracts attention. The large, ovate, acutely-lobed leaves are a soft olive-green colour, conspicuously marked with red veins on the upper surface ; the lower surface, stems and petiole are a transparent, reddish-bronze. The whole plant is thickly covered with short, stiff, reddish-pink hairs. The flowers are produced in large cymes well above the foliage and have petals of a soft rose colour merging to white at the margins.

The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture 1: 484 (1917)

B. Gilsonii, Hort. Plant, 2 ft. high: st. shrubby, coarse: lvs. large, lobed: fls. on long, erect peduncles, pale pink.—Interesting as being a double-fld. fibrous-rooted begonia. Named for Gilson, colored gardener to Mrs Livingston, N. Y.

Begonia gilsonii, from The Florist's Manual, by William Scott (1906).

Begonia list