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BEGONIA dregei

Image of Begonia dregei

Mark A. Miller

Family

Begoniaceae

Botanical Name

BEGONIA dregei

Plant Common Name

Grape-leaved Begonia

Special Notice

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

General Description

A lovely, upright growing plant, the maple-leaf begonia has showy but variably-shaped leaves with red veins and delicately fragrant white flowers. Native to shaded hillsides in South Africa, it is a tender perennial with a curiously attractive swollen stem base, or caudex. The leaves are often described as resembling those of a maple tree, but some individuals can more resemble the foliage of a geranium, ivy or grape leaf. The are green with red or purple veins or edges, and when young often have white spots. In late summer, the flowers, being either male or female, dangle from the stems with white petals that may be ever so slightly pale pink. The ensuing fruit is green with purple blush, with three keels.

Grow maple-leaf begonia in a well-draining loam that is moist, but allowed to dry out between waterings. Outdoors ensure it is shaded from any direct sunlight, but very early morning sun is okay. Indoors, reduce watering in the winter to reduce problems with rot of the swollen caudex. Regardless of how grown, this species (and its hybrids) is always prone to powdery mildew. Also, plants grown from stem cuttings rarely will form the attractively gnarled caudex. This is a great plant for inclusion in a hobbyist humid greenhouse.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Shade

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Purple, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No