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BEGONIA masoniana

Image of Begonia masoniana

James H. Schutte

Family

Begoniaceae

Botanical Name

BEGONIA masoniana

Plant Common Name

Iron Cross Begonia

General Description

The terrific evergreen foliage of the iron cross begonia can’t be beat. This rhizomatous tender perennial is native to extreme southern China near the border of Vietnam. Its large, rigid, roughly textured leaves are apple-green with single dark brown marks that resemble a German iron cross. In late spring, dainty white flowers are produced atop maroon stems above the mass of leaves.

Iron cross begonia needs a bright light but will not withstand direct sunlight. It prefers warm humid environments and prefers well-draining fertile soil. It is perfect for pot culture and is a common house or tender patio plant. The natural variant maculata has leaves that are yellow-green with a chocolate-brown cross, and a light brown leaf edge, likewise the cultivar 'Tricolor' has smaller ivy-shaped leaves that are ghostly pale green with a medium green and brown cross.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    12 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Lime Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Lime Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Lime Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Lime Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    Variegated

  • 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

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No