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Begonia scharffiana

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Begonia scharffii
Phonetic Spelling
be-GON-yuh skar-fee-AY-nuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Elephant ear begonia, is a tender, herbaceous perennial Begoniaceae (begonia) family. It is grown for its hairy, wide leaves  and colorful long-lasting pendant clusters of white flowers with red hairs which bloom June through November and are attractive to bees.

Begoniaceae is a large flowering plant family, the new Latin name of which honors Michael Begon (1638-1710), governor of French Canada, with about 1500 different species and hundreds of hybrids. 

This plant is typically grown indoors in containers or hanging baskets in moist, well-drained soil under filtered light, but it can take some direct sun in the winter. It will also grow very well in peat-based compost to a mature size of 12 to 18 inches with a similar spread.  It is not hardy enough to be grown outdoors above USDA zone 10 (unless you intend to grow the plant as an annual) and it prefers the hot and humid climate of its native southern Brazil.

Achieve a bushier form if by pinching back and pruning the outer stems during the growing season. Propagate through division, stem cutting, or seeds.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Sudden temperature change causes leaves to drop.

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

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#heat tolerant#houseplant#perennials#white flowers#frost tender#interiorscape#hanging baskets#hairy leaves#humidity tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#heat tolerant#houseplant#perennials#white flowers#frost tender#interiorscape#hanging baskets#hairy leaves#humidity tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Begonia
    Species:
    scharffiana
    Family:
    Begoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern Brazil
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Rounded
    Weeping
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    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
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Long-lasting pendant clusters of white flowers with red hairs blooming June through November.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Attractive foliage with hairy, wide leaves
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Description:
    Stems are flexible and zig-zag between the nodes.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat
    Humidity
    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