Garden Talk

with Rebecca Jordi

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Q: What can you tell me about the Beef Steak begonia?

Beef steak begonia

Beef steak begonia

A:  The beef steak begonia, Begonia erythrophylla, is an example of a rhizomatous begonia. This begonia would be better if grown as a house plant as it prefers temperatures well above freezing. If you decide to plant it in the ground, then it would need to be covered with the understanding it may not recover if winter temperatures stay too cold for too long.  This particular begonia has a heavy, succulent stem that grows just above the soil surface and sends out adventitious roots.  These begonias produce flower stalks of many small flowers well above the foliage.  Many different leaf color patterns occur, the leaves have various shapes, leaf margins range from entire to deeply lobed and many have hairy leaves.