Begonia luxurians (Palm Leaf Begonia) - An upright, cane-stemmed begonia that reaches to 6 to 8 ft. tall (or more) with large foot and a half wide glabrous leaves that are palmately dissected into 11 to 15 narrow leaflets that are green on the upper surface and reddish copper below and are folded upward from the middle with serrated margins. Interesting too, the new growth emerges from the center of the next oldest leaf. Delicate fragrant cream flowers with yellow stamens are produced from late winter into summer.
This plant requires bright filtered to part sun to look its best but try to avoid mid-day sun. Our oldest stock plant that we kept for years in a large cement pot was in full sun and only suffered briefly on our warmest days (low 90's ° F). This really is an interesting tall foliage plant that looks a bit more like a palm than a typical begonia.
It is listed in Begonias: The Complete Reference Guide>/i> (Thompson & Thompson) as a bare large-leafed shrub-type for the advanced grower. It was discovered in 1848 in the Organ Mountains north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These mountains take their name for their resemblance from a distance to the tubes of an organ. The name for the genus honors Michel Begon (1638-1710), who was governor of French Canada, a passionate plant collector and a patron of botany. His friend, the French botanist Charles Plumier, named the genus for him. The specific epithet comes from Latin words 'luxus' meaning "luxurious", "extravagant" in reference to the attractiveness of the plant. This plant received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 2004.
We have grown this great begonia at our nursery since 1999. It was a featured plant at our 2001 Field Day when the late Mark Bartholomew of Hi-Mark Nursery gave his talk titled "Outstanding Begonias for the Garden".
Information about Begonia luxurians displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.