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Identify Begonia Plant?

Tracee asks:

I have been trying for months off an on to find the identity of this plant. A small start was given to me as a gift from a friend. She has no idea what is is, as a start was given to her. I have replanted it into a larger pot, and am thinking I need to again. It has really grown well, but I would like to know what it is and a little more about it. Can you help me? Any information that I could get and share with the friend that gave it to me would be greatly appreciated.

rhizomatious-begonia-1.jpg rex-begonia.jpg

Jamie’s Reply: I believe you plant is some type of hybridized begonia; possible in the rex begonia family. It looks like a bloom bud might be forming. If it blooms it should prove to be a hybrid begonia. I hope this helps. I try to find out more about this plant and send you the information. Reply: After consulting with Janet Carson at the Arkansas Extention Service we believe you have a rhizomatous begonia possibly a star begonia (Begonia heracleifolia). The American Begonia Society has culture information concerning this type of begonia. Go to American Begonia Society to find out more about your begonia. Hope I helped.

Tracee responds:

Thank you SO much for the information about my plant. It is DEFINITLY a Rhizmatous Begonia. I did some more research on it, and found a wonderful picture of one that is very much like mine. I guess I have lucked out as far as the care of it, and it’s grown well. I have learned some tips though, so that’ll help when I replant.


  1. Denis - Belgium says:

    Hi Tracee,

    I am pretty sure your begonia is called B. ‘Immense’, and indeed it is a rhizomtous.
    Wonderful plant, and easy growing;

  2. I have this same exact begonia. Well it looks exactly like yours, I have the same story a friend of mine had it and was killing it and gave it to me and now it is huge. I have also been trying to identify my begonia for a while and i haven’t been able to. Can you share the information you received about how to take care of this type of plant. Thanks, Melodi

  3. I have been trying to identify this begonia for years too. I was given a cutting of this plant years ago and it is now in a 17″ pot and a monstor. The original plant belonged to my uncle’s mother, he is 88 and his mother died in the early 50’s. All of the family has been given cuttings and we call this plant “Grandma Sarah’s” in honor of her. I’ve given several of my friend’s cuttings over the years. I love the plant but hate the little pink flowers that drop all over my white carpeting. I just got fed up the other day with the flowers and cut them all off. I hope I didn’t damage the plant. I have several smaller plants sitting on my kitchen table that are waiting to be transplanted. I’d love to hear more about how you are caring for your plant.


  4. Lance Wakley says:

    Yes this is a begonia Immense, The book I have says it is a seedlig offspring of B. x ricinifolia. My grandmother gave this plant to me about 35 yrs ago. I love how the leaves get to be over 18″ in diameter. Very easy to grow and it will flower if givin bright filtered light. Plenty of off-shoots appear too. Mine does very well in a west or east facing window. I have to watch when it needs water cause when I let it get too dry the leaves will droop and not return to thier original position. As the plant ages the leaves will settle a bit though. The off-shoot will root very fast too. I have propagated it by cutting leaf vein segments also. Very easy to do. Mine does best in a rich potting soil and I set it back form a bright filtered east or west facing window.

  5. I have a huge (8ft +) that I bring in in the fall and take out in the spring. I have been trying to identify it but not able. I believe it to be a begonia. It grows all winter . Can anyone identify this plant?

    Attached Image: begonias 002.jpg

  6. I believe you have a Begonia x corallina “Lucerna” or “Carriere”.

  7. That is my begonia, also from my grandmother. I’m having trouble since my move. I only have a few left and would like to find more in case I lose these. Any suggestions?

  8. Check with your local garden center (not box store garden center – a real garden center) in the spring. If you tell me what area you live in, I might know one to direct you to.

  9. Tiffany says:

    My grandmother has given all the family these begonia cuttings… and was told that they were the \"old hotel begonia\’s\" since they grow to the pot size they are in, and they put them in the old round sofa\’s with the huge plants with huge leaves coming out of the middle. I have only seen them in our family… so I laugh when I hear that they got a clipping from a clipping and no one knows what they are. I was also told they were extinct, but then again, I come here and see them. But as for maybe in the wild, I dont know. But now at least I have a name for them.

  10. I bought one of these begonias years ago in a second hand shop. I call it my Fraggle begonia but have never been able to get to the bottom of the mystery. I love this plant because it is so easy to care for. I have about 10 different types of begonias and this one is the least picky. I need to know how to repot mine or how to take cuttings I love it so much I don’t wanna risk it. Also I need to know how to take cuttings from a beef steak begonia. If anyone has some advise i would love to hear it. Thanks.

  11. Here is the Begonia Rex, beautiful flower,, She likes to be nearby to the window and to have 2 hours of light directly, aprox.
    this photo is in Peru. 2005

    Attached Image: Begonia Rex-1.jpg

  12. Very beautiful indeed, Milly! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Diane Siler says:

    THANK YOU so much I have this plant thanks to a friend now I know the name.

  14. I have this same begonia from a family friend and it is called a beef steak begonia.

  15. odette verrier says:

    where can i buy one. i have been looking for years.

  16. It depends on where you are located, but you should be able to find or at least order begonias from a local garden center or plant nursery.

  17. Deb MacDonald says:

    I, too, have been looking for THIS begonia for over 5 yrs. My mom had one that had been a cutting from generations of cuttings. It was HUGE & my mom called it an “Elephant Ear” Begonia. I don’t know what happened to it after my mom passed & I never thought to get a cutting from hers. It was like a family heirloom & I so miss having one in my home. Others that I’ve found for purchase don’t look quite right. Most have darker green “fuzzy” leaves & patterns & lack the bright green “glossy” leaves with the red fuzzy stems that I remember. The pic is of me 44 yrs. ago with it behind me. It looks like it’s growing from my Easter hat. I would SO love to find one for purchase. Any help would be MUCH appreciated!

    Attached Image: mom 033.jpg

  18. Deb,

    You might try Kartuz Greenhoues in Vista CA.

  19. Deb MacDonald says:

    I did look there, but no luck. I was able to finally find some here:
    & have contacted them re: shipping. (Their policy didn’t match up with the shipping added to my cart, double what the policy stated). I’ll wait to hear from them & if I don’t, I will pay the amount stated in the cart, just so I can finally have one!!
    Thanks so very much for your help! It’s much appreciated!!

  20. Margot Emery says:

    This is a species begonia, not a hybrid, called b. manicata. It is in the family of b. heracleifolia (I believe the American Begonia Society said that) which is from Mexico and Latin America. The earliest heracleifolia was discovered by a botanist in Mexico in 1830. I had one of these more than a decade ago and stupidly tossed it when it got so big. I didn’t think to propagate it and start over. I didn’t know its name then. I searched exhaustively two years ago to find another and finally did manage to do so. If you can’t find one in trade, I can work with you on a plantlet or leaf segment if you pay shipping.

  21. Rich Seestedt says:

    I saw this plant titled begonia crestaburchii (sp) at the Congresssional Botanical Garden on the Mall in DC next to the Capital Building. I have seen it at flower shows. I inherited an ancient cutting form my grandmother. She called it “an elephant ear” begonia. I now have multiple plants…

  22. It’s a “Maple Leaf” Begonia

  23. darlene brown says:

    i had a begonia I got from a great uncle it looked just like traces I thought it had white blossoms its been a few years I would like a piece to start a new plant. if any one would like to sell me a piece . I will pay for shipping. I put mine out doors and it got colder then I thought we got a frost. I’ve been looking for it for some time.

  24. I used to have this plant which I got from my grandmother. I shared it with other’s and finally got rid of it. Now I want it back and am looking for it. From what I’ve seen it looks like Begonia Rex “Immense ” or “Lucerna “,which I think are both rhizome family.
    Mine was huge and spanned 4-5ft. The stem to leaf was around 2+ft. with green leaves and furry red along the stem. It was a hanging plant.

  25. We also have had generations of this plant handed down from my great, great grandmother. This plant having soft furry red spines on the leaf stems and very large maple leaf shaped leaves. We have always known it as a Maple Leaf Begonia. Along with this plant we also have another we know as a elephant ear begonia. It has a bamboo like stalk and spotted leaves shaped like elephant ears. Booth of these plants grow to be room fillers.

  26. Donald Coffman says:

    I have had this plant for decades. I was told it was Begonia ‘Magnus’, but found only two references for ‘Magnus’ online and no pictures. It has white flowers with pinkish buds. In summer the leaves easily get over a foot across but I keep it on the drier side in winter so they only go about 6”. Super easy houseplant, starts from rhizome cuttings easily. Over the years I have probably given away 40-50 starts.

  27. Pam Chaffee says:

    I did a search, and found it commonly known as a star begonia. Had mine & many offshoots since mid 70s.

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