The shrub-like Begonia type is quite variable and as a result can be confusing to identify as a group. These begonias can range in size from miniatures to giants, some to 12 feet tall. Some varieties have leaves up to 24 inches long under perfect conditions.

The leaf surface is also variable. Some have smooth, shiny leaves while other types have hairy or felted leaves. Shrub-like begonias get their name from the way they grow: with many shoots coming up from the soil to make a full plant. They are considered multi-stemmed.

While this group does not form the bamboo-like shoots of cane-like begonias, it can be difficult to tell the two groups apart.

Most varieties do not bloom as often as or as heavily as the cane-like begonias, but some are everblooming and are used as bedding plants across the country. Most shrubs have white flowers but there are plenty of pink and red ones also, and many have hairy flowers. The shrub type is easy and satisfying to grow, with interesting leaves, lots of flowers and full growth.

B. ‘Thurstonii’ shows the uniformly branched, mound forming, growth habit of shrub-like begonias. | Photo: Julie Vanderwilt

B. ‘Darlene Fuentes | Photo: Julie Vanderwilt

B. odorata ‘alba’ | Photo: Doris Happel

B. ‘Darlene Fuentes’ and B. odorata ‘alba’ both exhibit the mounding growth of shrub-like begonias. There are no overarching shoots as there would be in cane-like begonias.

Articles About Shrub-Like Begonias

Begonia U446

Begonia U446

B. U446 is a shrub-like begonia that was collected by Mary Sizemore in the fall of 1996. Mary...

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Begonia listada

Begonia listada

Begonia listada is found in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. It came into cultivation in 1961 as B. listada hort.

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Species of Shrub-like Begonias

B. domingensis | Photo: Ross Bolwell

B. scharfii

B. obscura | Photo: Bachelot Pierre J-P ©2021

B. sanguinea

B. taiwaniana | Photo: Juniper Level Botanic Garden

B. metallica | Photo: Julie Vanderwilt

B. valdensium | Photo: Mauro Peixoto

B. echinosepala | Photo: Astro Branch ABS

B. acutifolia | Photo: San Marcos Growers ©2021

B. odorata

B. alice-clarkiae | Photo: Yoshitoyo Kondou

B. venosa | Photo: Julie Vanderwilt

B. huegelii | Photo: Julie Vanderwilt

B. paleata | Photo: The Ohio State University © 2021

B. peltata | Photo: Julie Vanderwilt