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Begonia cleopatrae

Phonetic Spelling
be-GON-yuh clay-OH-pah-tra
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Mapleleaf begonia is a member of the Begoniaceae (begonia) family. Begoniaceae is a large, flowering plant family, the name of which honors Michael Begon (1638-1710), Governor of French Canada, and includes about 1500 different species and hundreds of hybrids. Mature begonia plants range in size from a few inches high to over 12 inches high, and the flowers, foliage colors, and sizes are very diverse.

Mapleleaf begonia has a creeping growth habit resulting in a bushy plant of attractive thick red leaves with a pale green mark running down the middle of the leaf. Mapleleaf begonia is a low-maintenance plant with a medium growth rate and may reach a mature size of up to 2 feet by 2 feet.

Mapleleaf begonia can be grown successfully in partial shade and accepts soil composed of some clay, loam, or silt but requires good drainage. It can survive occasionally dry soil and the soil pH can range from acid to neutral.

Indoors, it does best with filtered light and protection from low temperatures. Ideal temperatures range from 60 to 75 degrees F. The plant soil should be well-drained as the roots do not do well in standing water. The plant tolerates occasionally dry soil. Mapleleaf begonia can be a relatively hardy windowsill plant and can also be grown in a terrarium. It will grow more quickly in a terrarium, but may be less likely to flower. 

It can be propagated by stem or leaf cuttings or by dividing the rhizome. Remove dead foliage to prevent fungal disease. 

Suggested landscape locations for mapleleaf begonia include containers, hanging baskets, Asian, and drought tolerant gardens.

Quick ID Hints

  • Large, thick, red leaves, 4 to 5 inches, with a pale green mark running down the middle and pale stripping around the edges. 
  • Clusters of small, erect, pale pink flowers from winter to spring.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Susceptible to root rot and botrytis through over watering. Remove dead foliage to prevent fungal disease. 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#houseplant#perennials#easy to grow#interiorscape#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#houseplant#perennials#easy to grow#interiorscape#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Begonia
    Species:
    cleopatrae
    Family:
    Begoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Leaf Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Phillipines
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Description:
    Clusters of small, erect, pale pink flowers from winter to spring.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Large, thick, red leaves, 4 to 5 inches, with a pale green mark running down the middle and pale stripping around the edges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Leaf stem pale green, fleshy, lightly bristled and spotted with red.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Kidney failure (in grazing animals), vomiting, salivation in dogs/cats. The most toxic part is underground.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Soluble calcium oxalates
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Roots