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Begonia masoniana

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
be-GON-yuh mas-on-ee-AY-nuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Begoniaceae is a large flowering plant family with about 1500 different species and hundreds of hybrids. Mature begonia plants range in size from a few inches high to over 12 feet high and the flowers, foliage colors and sizes are very diverse.

Begonia masoniana, or Iron Cross Begonia, is a tender, herbaceous perennial, typically grown as an ornamental houseplant, that is native to China and Vietnam. It grows from a rhizome and is noted for its extremely showy foliage, rather than its meager floral display. The plant is winter hardy to USDA zones 11 and 12, preferring temperatures in the low 70s, and will not survive outdoors in temperatures below 55 degrees F.  When grown indoors, place it in bright but indirect or filtered light (for example, a southern, eastern or western window), use a peaty potting mix and keep soils evenly moist during periods of growth. When active growth slows down, slightly reduce water applications, allowing the surface of the soil to nearly dry before adding water. Do not over water. This is a finicky plant that prefers high humidity, which can be increased by placing the pot on wet gravel tray. 

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

Keep foliage dry to help prevent onset of powdery mildew. Susceptible to bacterial leaf spot, blight and stem/crown rot. Watch for aphids, mealybugs and spider mites. Plants taken outdoors in summer are susceptible to slugs and snails if pots are placed on the ground.

 

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

Profile Video:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#houseplant#container plant#showy leaves#interiorscape#winter interest#interesting leaves#black walnut#warm climates#indoor#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#houseplant#container plant#showy leaves#interiorscape#winter interest#interesting leaves#black walnut#warm climates#indoor#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Begonia
    Species:
    masoniana
    Family:
    Begoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern coast of China south to Vietnam
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Dense
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    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:
    11b, 11a, 12a, 12b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small (3/4 inch) greenish white flowers make attractive displays in cymes that rise above the leaves of the plant. Seasonal blooms.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Puckered, pebbly-textured, asymetrical, bright green leaves (to 8 inches long) have decorative dark chocolate brown center markings which resemble the Iron Cross displayed on shields during the Crusades. Foliage provides winter interest. Leaf puckers are made up of pustules with a red hair growing from the tip of each minute pimple.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    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