List of 22 Rare Begonias That You Must See To Believe!

You typically see flowering begonias brightening up summer porches and garden beds, but the following odd varieties are very unlikely to be spotted on your next stroll.

Grown more for their out-there foliage than their blooms, these super-rare begonias will make you see this common garden favorite in a whole new light.

From color-changing abilities to trippy patterns and 3-D textures, here are 22 begonia varieties every plant lover needs to see!

1. Begonia baramensis

This stunning begonia has dark green – almost black – spade-shaped leaves with prominent pink veins and outer edges that appear to have been dipped in silver!

Occasionally, scattered specks of silver appear on the innermost leaf blades, creating the impression of a starry night sky.

  • Common Name: Begonia baramensis ‘Sarawak’
  • Average Price: $90-100
  • Average Size: 15-20 inches tall
  • Key Features: Intensely dark leaves, contrasting silver margins, standout pink veins

2. Begonia manicata ‘Aureomaculata’

The wonderfully spotted white-and-yellow pattern mixed in with this begonia’s deep-green leaf color creates the appearance of leopard skin.

Its broad, smooth leaves shaped somewhere between hearts and lily pads bear another striking feature on closer inspection – dark red petioles and tiny red hairs lining the margins.

  • Common Name: Leopard begonia
  • Average Price: $25-40
  • Average Size: 6-12 inches tall
  • Key Features: Mottled white-and-yellow variegation, glossy broad leaves, red petioles and hairs on leaf edges

3. Begonia longiciliata ‘Sizemoreae’

This arresting plant features large rounded leaves with a dark-green base and a halo of light green near the margins and deep pink undersides with densely hairy pink-and-white stems.

The darker green area is covered in black veining detail, and the leaves have an intensely crinkled texture with soft white hairs scattered about the surface and edges.

  • Common Name: Begonia sizemoreae
  • Average Price: $25-30
  • Average Size: 12-15 inches tall
  • Key Features: Deeply crinkled texture, light-green inner band, white hairs, standout venation

4. Begonia imperialis

A close look at the leaves of Begonia imperialis in the garden.

This begonia has elegant heart-shaped leaves that taper out into a perfectly curved point and features a striking silver-green base color splashed with dark-green stripes.

The cobbled texture and soft, fine hairs covering the leaf surface give them a luxurious, velvety feel, making this plant a joy for the senses.

  • Common Name: Imperial begonia
  • Average Price: $30-70
  • Average Size: 6-15 inches tall
  • Key Features: Heart-shaped foliage; gray-green/dark-green combo; dimpled, velvet texture

5. Begonia luxurians

With a shape unique to many other begonias, the long, draping lance-shaped leaves of this variety appear closer to a mini palm tree.

The glossy and exotic leaves feature slightly serrated edges and are a luscious deep green.

Meanwhile, the undersides sport a bronze shade with maroon cane-like stems, and great care will bring about sweetly scented mini yellow blooms.

  • Common Name: Palm-leaf begonia
  • Average Price: $20-50
  • Average Size: 1-2 meters tall
  • Key Features: Long, palm-like fronds; serrated edges; coppery underside; maroon stems

6. Begonia listada

Compact yet characterful, this ornamental begonia variety is bustling with stretched ovular foliage that almost resembles lips or angel wings.

The leaves are a rich, deep green emboldened by a bright green stripe running down the middle and are covered with tiny hairs which give it a silky texture.

The deep-burgundy undersides and cute daisy-like flowers add extra appeal too!

  • Common Name: Striped begonia
  • Average Price: $20-35
  • Average Size: 7-10 inches tall
  • Key Features: Elongated ovular foliage, bold green stripe detail, white daisy-like blooms

7. Begonia blancii ‘Variegata’

Cultivated from a fairly recent discovery in the Philippines’ Palawan island comes this intriguing small begonia featuring smooth and thick spatula-like leaves with a yellow, dark-green, and brown mottled appearance.

The striking speckled pattern leaves are borne on brown to pink-red stems with fine white hairs, and great care will send up pretty pink-white tulip-like blooms.

  • Common Name: Begonia blancii ‘Mottled Form’
  • Average Price: $25-40
  • Average Size: 12-20 inches tall
  • Key Features: Rounded, spatulate foliage; variegated mottled pattern; maroon stems

8. Begonia rex

The striking foliage of Begonia Rex against a gray background.

Alternately known as the painted, the fancy-leaf, and the King begonia, this bushy, jaw-dropping species features large, cupped ovulate leaves of metallic green and pink/purple hues which are streaked dramatically with lightning forks of dark green along the leaf veins.

In wonderful contrast, the stems and leaf undersides reveal a deep burgundy shade.

  • Common Name: Painted-leaf begonia
  • Average Price: $15-30
  • Average Size: 1-1.5 feet tall
  • Key Features: Large ovular foliage, silvery-green and dark-green striped pattern, burgundy undersides

9. Begonia rex ‘Tie-Dye’

The swirly leaves of Begonia rex tie dye plant.

This quirky begonia hybrid brings all the colorful vibes of the ’60s with its glorious spiraled leaf pattern of red, deep pink, and white – creating a trippy, ombre effect!

B. rex ‘Tie Dye’ plants often feature a silvery-white spiral in their mid-section with a pinkish red or purple color scheme and have a maple-leaf shape with multiple pointed lobes.

  • Common Name: Tie dye begonia 
  • Average Price: $15-20
  • Average Size: 10-14 inches tall
  • Key Features: Spiraled pink/purple and white variegation, broad maple leaf shape, exaggerated pointed lobes

10. Begonia ‘Black Mamba’

Though small, this highly dramatic begonia hybrid is hard to ignore with its black foliage.

Its rounded, slightly star-shaped leaves grow in a loose spiral from the center, and each leaf overlaps in a dense, bushy display.

The leaves are also lined with tiny hot-pink hairs to match the light-pink blooms that shoot up on tall stalks.

  • Common Name: Black mamba begonia
  • Average Price: $12-15
  • Average Size: 4-6 inches tall
  • Key Features: Night-sky black foliage, loosely spiraled formation, pink hairs/margins, rounded pale-pink blooms

11. Begonia brevirimosa

The hot-pink foliage of the Begonia brevirimosa plant.

A contender for one of the showiest of all begonias is this bold and beautiful variety sporting glossy 12-inch long leaves with a striking dark olive-green (near black) and bubblegum-pink striped pattern!

The long elliptical leaves cascade down in a tight, shrub-like habit as it grows, highlighting the dramatic vein detail and producing brighter pink streaks that take on a metallic sheen with age.

  • Common Name: The exotica begonia
  • Average Price: $40-50
  • Average Size: 2-3 feet tall
  • Key Features: Large, statement leaves; bold dark-green/metallic-pink striped pattern; compact growth

12. Begonia plebeja

This pretty begonia variety features large and broad lily-pad shaped leaves of a rich emerald-green tone with speckled brown markings appearing in each section between the central veins.

The effect of these coffee-brown patches, which can appear faint or bold on different leaves, highlights the bright-green vein detail beneath, almost like an artistic brass rubbing.

  • Common Name: Barsaloux’s begonia
  • Average Price: $35
  • Average Size: 12-14 inches tall
  • Key Features: Large lily-pad foliage, emerald-green leaves, rich brown markings in each leaf section

13. Begonia soli-mutata

Close-up look at the deep-green leaves of the Begonia soli-mutata plant.

With its name meaning “sun-changing,” this beautiful, highly textured begonia variety sees its clumping seaweed-green foliage turn darker as the light levels intensify!

Its wide, rounded leaves are mostly dark green with light-green vein detail and have a puckered, pebbly texture. A gorgeous pink-red tone also lines the margins and undersides.

  • Common Name: Sun-changing begonia
  • Average Price: $20-30
  • Average Size: 6-12 inches tall
  • Key Features: Foliage darkens with light pebbled/goose-pimpled surface bold light- and dark-green color contrast

14. Begonia dregei

This eye-catching variety features deep-green leaves with two small and two large lobes on either side with an elongated pointed tip and a slightly serrated edge, much like a maple leaf.

But unlike the common maple leaf, this begonia plant is dotted with silver-white spots across its smooth, glossy surface. Rounded whitish-pink flowers also bloom forth in summer with great care.

  • Common Name: Maple-leaved begonia
  • Average Price: $40-50
  • Average Size: 20-40 inches tall
  • Key Features: Maple-leaf shaped foliage, green with white spot pattern, white/pink blooms

15. Begonia microsperma

Textured leaves and yellow flowers of Begonia microsperma.

A small but showy variety, the microsperma or “small seed” begonia has thick, textured green leaves that can be ovular or almost perfectly rounded.

The shiny foliage has a wonderfully puckered surface that is covered in hundreds of tiny, white, bristle hairs.

In pretty contrast to the deep green are the buttercup-yellow flowers it sends up in summer.

  • Common Name: Begonia ‘Ficicola’
  • Average Price: $30-55
  • Average Size: 4-6 inches tall
  • Key Features: Deeply embossed leaf texture, rounded/elliptical foliage shape, covering of white hairs

16. Begonia kingiana

Named for the19th-century botanist Sir George King, this compact and charming begonia plant produces a dense cluster of small spade-shaped leaves with an emerald-green color and prominent light-green-and-yellow vein detail, creating a tortoiseshell pattern.

The leaves grow on hairless red stems and feature a subtle white “dot” at the point where the stem connects to the petiole underneath.

  • Common Name: Tortoise shell begonia
  • Average Price: $30-45
  • Average Size: 6-8 inches tall
  • Key Features: Green-and-yellow variegated tortoiseshell pattern, small spade-shaped foliage, red undersides

17. Begonia mazae ‘Nigricans’

Similar in shape to the Begonia ‘Black Mamba’, this beautifully patterned trailing variety features near-rounded leaves with a perfectly curved sideways point, almost like a speech bubble or angel’s wing.

The unique leaves start life with striking light- and dark-green variegation before turning a duller green and finally black with maturity.

  • Common Name: Begonia nigricans
  • Average Price: $15-20
  • Average Size: 6-12 inches tall
  • Key Features: Angel-wing shaped foliage, light to dark-green pattern, matures to solid black shade with age

18. Begonia crassicaulis

This odd and extremely rare begonia variety grows from a thick central stem that resembles bark and sends out a dense clump of deeply lobed, glossy, green leaves that fan out palm-like.

Impressively, this begonia species naturally defoliates (drops its leaves) during winter before sending out tall and healthy pale pink blooms on the same leafless stems the following spring!

  • Common Name: Begonia crassicaulis
  • Average Price: $20-25 (seeds only)
  • Average Size: 6-18 inches tall
  • Key Features: Thick, bark-like stem; dramatically lobed foliage; defoliates in winter

19. Begonia salaziensis

The leaves and flowers of Begonia salaziensis.

This critically-endangered species of begonia hails from the tropical dry forests of Mauritius and features matte dark-green leaves that grow in a pointed elliptical or angel-wing shape.

When in bloom, this begonia produces fairly showy rose-pink and white bell-shaped flowers that hang down in clusters and quite overwhelm the leaves.

  • Common Name: Begonia salaziensis
  • Average Price: Currently unknown
  • Average Size: 1-2.5 meters tall
  • Key Features: Winged/elliptical foliage shape, matte dark-green color, showy pink/white blooms

20. Begonia x voodoo

This striking cross-breed of the Begonia rex variety has slightly lobed and pointed spade-shaped leaves of pale green with beautiful silvery vein detailing embedded in the dark green streaks.

Each leaf also has the tiniest hint of pink blush! The leaves are thicker than most other begonias, and the rigid veins are said to feel like palm lines on the hand.

  • Common Name: Begonia ‘Voodoo Star’
  • Average Price: $10-15
  • Average Size: 4-6 inches tall
  • Key Features: Pale-green foliage with dark-green/silver-streaked pattern; thick, pronounced vein detail

21. Begonia fuchsioides

A large begonia fuchsioides blooming outdoors in a garden.

Grown for its pleasing pink inflorescences as much as its foliage, the bushy fuchsia begonia produces several branches of small and glossy dark-green leaves with an elliptical shape.

From each leaf cluster hangs its cutest feature – pendulous flowers that range in color from pale purple and fuchsia pink to passionate red!

  • Common Name: Fuchsia begonia
  • Average Price: $10-30 (depending on flower color)
  • Average Size: 1-2 feet tall
  • Key Features: Showy pink/purple/red drooping blooms; bushy, clump-forming habit; glossy dark-green leaves

22. Begonia maculata

A lovely Polka Dot Begonia (maculata) plant in a gray planter.

The variegated pattern on this dazzling begonia variety appears too decorative for nature, displaying perfectly applied silvery-white polka dots on its long bottle-green foliage.

Its elongated angel-wing shaped leaves measure 8 inches long and have dark-red undersides borne on thick, bamboo cane-like stems for added quirk factor!

  • Common Name: Polka dot begonia
  • Average Price: $150-300
  • Average Size: 1-1.5 meters tall
  • Key Features: Striking white polka-dot patterned leaves, long angel-wing foliage; bamboo-like stems

Conclusion 

To sum up, exotic houseplant hunters have much to choose from among the rarer Begonia varieties out there.

From compact, color-changing types like B. soli-mutata to the large statement foliage of B. brevirimosa and pleasing textures of B. imperialis, there’s certainly something for every décor type and budget!

Image credit: Names of Myanmar Plants, LaKaz Barrage