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BEGONIA bowerae

Image of Begonia bowerae

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Begoniaceae

Botanical Name

BEGONIA bowerae

Plant Common Name

Eyelash Begonia

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Can you find a prettier foliage plant? Light pink flowers naturally occur in late winter and spring on the eyelash begonia, but its true beauty is in the variegated, spotted and striped leaves of yellow-green and burgundy-black. Native to the mountain slopes of southern Mexico's cloudy rainforsts, it is a tender perennial that grows from a creeping branched rhizome (underground stem). It is regarded as one of the prettiest begonias for foliage and its relative ease of culture as both a houseplant or annual bedding begonia.

Oval but asymmetrical in shape, the yellow-green leaves have tiny white hairs on the margins that look like eyelashes. Purple-burgundy to nearly black markings also dot the leaf edges or may also create bands along the leaf veins. In late winter and early spring it produces loose clusters of white or light pink male and female flowers that are held on thin pink stems above the foliage.

Grow the pretty eyelash begonia in bright diffused light or bright full shade in a freely draining sandy or humusy soil that is not alkaline. It appreciates high ambient humidity for finest foliage and plant fullness. As a houseplant it is favored for culture in a terrarium or glass bowl. Make sure to allow the soil to dry out before watering to prevent rot. This is a fantasic begonia that is heavily used for breeding to create new exciting cultivars as well as to be a groundcover for shady tropical gardens. In frost-prone regions use it as a seasonal annual accent in containers, hanging baskets or window boxes where its ornate foliage can be highlighted.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    10"-14" / 25.4cm - 35.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Pink, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Yellow Green, Burgundy, Black

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Yellow Green, Burgundy, Black

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated, Spotted/Mottled

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow Green, Burgundy, Black

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated, Spotted/Mottled

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Yellow Green, Burgundy, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated, SpottedMottled

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Feature Plant, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No