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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blooming Begonias with Giant Round Leaves

Begonias are one of those exotic plants that grow easily in West Central Florida. I've been gifted with a few varieties over the years that I plant as filler among layers of Florida-Friendly foliage throughout my garden. My attention has been on the conditions they needed to thrive without giving much thought to each varieties specific identification. 

Begonias bloom luscious, long lasting flowers to rival any perennial. Most are sensitive to frost, but in my garden protection is provided by overhanging mature oak trees. I leave them to the elements all year long.
The ginormous round leaves would be sufficient reason to grow this one. The stunning white clusters of flowers borne on tall scapes above the unique foliage are show-stoppers from mid-winter through spring.

Susan, from Simply Susan gave me a single plant several years ago that I believe she called Luna Begonia. The rhizome from which it grows produced more plants each year following that I divide and transplant to increase their number. I bought another one at Just Fruits and Exotics in Tallahassee (one of my favorite garden centers ever) that was marked Begonia 'Rotundifolia' and yet looked exactly like the gift from Susan.
I'm confused. Internet research turns up images of Begonia nelumbifolia that look exactly like these. So is this Begonia rotundifolia, nelumbiifolia or something else entirely? Gosh, it's nice to know the proper name for plants in our gardens isn't it! But honestly, I get so much pleasure from these prolific bloomers and the distinct foliage I guess its proper name is secondary to the fact that it thrives happily in my garden.

Update: The really giant leaves of the begonia Susan passed along to me (shown in all these photos) has been identified (thanks to smart readers) as B. nelumbifolia and the slightly smaller (but still large and round) leaves of the one I purchased at Just Fruits & Exotics is indeed B. 'Rotundifolia'.

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  1. A nursery I don't always frequent had some big leaved begonias last year.Last year at the beginning of the growing season I swore I wouldn't haul in plants this past fall. Ha. That was until I saw those big leaves. I don't have the one you have but I sure love the ease of culture and the pretty blooms even tho I have to bring them in. I couldn't tell you the ones I have either. The tags are rarely correct.

  2. I have no idea what it is, but it surely is pretty and unique!

  3. I would love to add more begonias to my gardens. I have one kind, leaves not as large as yours, but white blooms that have a sweet scent. I saw some beauties at the botanical garden.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  4. I know, Lisa, I say the same thing every year. There are a few that deserve some extra treatment. If I lived where you do, I'd be doing a lot of hauling.

    One of these days a Begonia aficionado will come along to help with ID. Until then, I'm happy with pretty and unique.

    It's especially nice when someone passes them along to you. They divide and transplant so easily.

  5. This is indeed Begonia nelumbifolia. B. rotundifolia is different. These are only two of over 1400 begonia species. See more at!

  6. Gorgeous, and I love the huge leaves. I'm going to have to watch for these in my central FL area...

  7. These are so pretty! I'm going to go to Just Fruits and Exotics to see if they still have them. Oh, and thank you so much for featuring me in your "Go Visit Another Florida Blogger" section. What an awesome surprise!

  8. It's Begonia nelumbifolia or something similar, which Mark C. Tebbit's "Begonias: Cultivation, Identification, and Natural History" says is "one of the most easily recognized of all begonias." Big, peltate leaves. It's from southern Mexico. B. rotundifolia is a much smaller plant.

  9. I seriously cannot thank you enough for naming that begonia I had the exact same problem! It was a gift and I wanted more but could not locate it anywhere. I bought something similar in the same thing it was not exactly the same as before but similar :-) thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you


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