Conservatoire du Bégonia began life in 1998 on a municipal horticulture
area in the city of Rochefort. A collection of Begonias arrived in 1986
with a private collection owned by a Vincent Millerioux from Paris. He
had been interested in the genus Begonia from the 1960's and had
collected more than 200 botanical & hybrid Begonias which constituted
the first private collection in France.
In 1986 Mr Millerioux decided to sell his
collection. The city of Rochefort bought the whole collection. Since
that time by donations, purchases & exchanges 1,000 new plants have
increased the collection, especially American & Japanese exchanges or
directly brought in from their original tropical rain forests ( Sumatra,
China & Guinea.) Expeditions led by professor Francis Halle in 1988 &
1990, an expedition called 'Le Radeau des cimes in 1990, in South
America & in 1991 in Cameroon. It was during this time the collection
moved to where it is today. At present it holds 1,300 botanical & hybrid
Begonias 500 botanical ones 1100 hybrids.