Name: Begonia ricinifolia ‘Immense’ aka the Immense Begonia
Type of Plant: Large (yes, the name is accurate) begonia that has interesting hairy stems and clusters of pink flowers in the middle of the winter.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: Large, bright green leaves, strong growth and lots of flowers from January through March…that alone would be enough to make this a great houseplant. But best of all are the red hair-like clumps on the stems. These almost look prickly from a distance but they are actually quite soft. When this plant is in an eastern or western facing window those red hairs light up in the sunshine, so every day the begonia will make you smile.
A Word to the Wise: Most begonias hate being too wet – they are prone to crown rot when the soil is too damp.
My friend Chris Hestwood gave me a small plant from her begonia – this is an easy one to root from a stem or leaf, so a nice pass-along plant for others. Once it gets too, too large, however, root a new one for yourself and start over.