Begonia – Beefsteak

Q: My Mother passed away last year and she had a plant which I now have. I have tried every source to try to identify it and have been unsuccessful. I hope that you may be of some help.

A: I first saw this begonia in the home of my childhood neighbor, Mrs. Mary Harp. She called it “Ox Heart Begonia” but its common name is “Beefsteak Begonia”. The scientific name is Begonia x erythrophylla. The last part of its scientific name is interesting. “Erythro” means red and “phylla” means leaf, perfectly describing the backside of your begonia’s foliage.

I notice in the picture that the leaf stems are very long. Typically this means that the plant is growing in low light. Try to find a brighter spot for it, or hang a plant light nearby. It will appreciate living on a shaded patio in summer.

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