December 2006
Star Begonia
(Begonia heracleifolia)
This species begonia has been around a long time, first discovered in the 1830s near Mexico City. In the South Florida landscape, Begonia heracleifolia makes a pretty groundcover about 18 inches tall. The palmate leaves have beautiful dark markings while the veins form a light green star. Leaf undersides are burgundy. Petioles are green with red hairs and these hairs form a dense circle at the top of the petiole where it meets the leaf.

B. heracleifolia will spread its rhizomes along the ground creating a dense mat of foliage. Magnificent pale pink flowers appear in winter. The plant sometimes goes dormant after blooming, especially if grown on the dry side.

B. heracleifolia is one of the parents for the hybrid B.x 'Ricinifolia'.

Thank you, Doris Happel for the photo and insight on the Star Begonia in her collection.
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