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Products > Begonia peltata
 
Begonia peltata - Fuzzy Leaf Begonia
   
Image of Begonia peltata
 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Begoniaceae (Begonias)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Winter
Synonyms: [B. incana]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Begonia peltata (Fuzzy Leaf Begonia) An upright growing shrub begonia to 2 feet or more tall with erect thick succulent stems that hold fleshy nearly round to slightly oblong leaves with the petiole attachment towards the middle on the underside of the leaf, much like those of a waterlily. The leaves are apple green and covered with felt-like hairs, making them a silver-green color, which is enhanced by bright light and the newest leaves can be almost white. In winter appear the white flowers on long branching inflorescences. Plant in a well-drained soil in airy open location that gets bright light or morning sun and water sparingly. Those with the best results note it is best to treat this plant as though it were a succulent as rotting it by overwatering is easy to do. It has proven frost hardy to around 30 F and likely would tolerate slightly colder for short durations, but is best in a frost free zone. It can be kept as a potted specimen or planted in a protected spot in the garden. The Fuzzy Leaf Begonia comes from Mexico and is listed as being found in Vera Cruz south to Guatemala. 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 name is descriptive of the skewered peltate leaves. This plant was described in February 1841 in Allgremeine Gartenzeitung by German botanists Christoph Friedrich Otto and Albert Gottfried Dietrich with this name but later that same year was included in the British publication Edwards's Botanical Register as Begonia incana ("incana" means grayish or hoary in reference to the leaf color) by the English botanist John Lindley and it was under this name this plant was long cultivated. We thank John Bleck for our cuttings of this unusual and attractive begonia, which he first grew as Begonia incana at the UCLA Mildred Mathias Botanic Garden and also had under this name in the UCSB Botany Greenhouse, but his current plant that we took our cuttings from was one that John "won" at the 2016 Exceptional Plant Auction at Ganna Walska Lotusland. Lotusland has this begonia growing in their fern garden and originally received it from Santa Barbara succulent and begonia specialist Diane Dunhill.  This information is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of it in our nursery of crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we have visited. We will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Begonia peltata.