Common Name: hardy begonia
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: China
Zone: 6 to 7
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to October
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Black Walnut
Best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Soils should not be allowed to dry out. Heavy winter mulch is advisable in the St. Louis area where plants are not reliably winter hardy. Deadhead flowers to extend bloom period. Plants will self-propagate by tiny bulblets which form in the leaf axils in autumn and drop to the ground. Bulblets may also be harvested from the leaf axils and planted as desired. Plants may also self-seed. New season growth is usually late to appear.
Begonia grandis, commonly called hardy begonia, is the only species of Begonia that is winter hardy to the St. Louis area. It is a monoecious, tuberous-rooted, clump-forming perennial that typically forms a bushy mound of foliage to 2’ tall on branching stems. Large, obliquely ovate leaves (to 4” long) with cordate bases are medium to olive green above and reddish green with red veining beneath. Male and female pale pink flowers (to 1” across) bloom in pendent clusters (dichotomous cymes) from July to early fall.
Genus name honors Michael Begon (1638-1710), Governor of French Canada.
Specific epithet means big or showy.
No serious insect or disease problems. Winter hardiness is a concern in St. Louis.
Good late summer flowering shade plant which mixes well with hostas and ferns in the shade garden, woodland garden or shaded border.