Elephant ear, or what?
March 30, 2012 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Plant Identification Filter: All sources say "elephant ear plant", but we're not entirely sure that's it.

Seen here, front and center. Is this an elephant ear plant? A specific kind of elephant ear plant?

This amazing plant survived a trip across the country in a hot car, then a year being ignored in water. It turned into this magnificent beast once being put into soil, in the span of a year.

Tell me more, plant experts of askMe!
posted by sunshinesky to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Best answer: I think that is some sort of begonia.
posted by kimdog at 11:52 AM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

It does indeed look like begonia grandis.
posted by jquinby at 11:54 AM on March 30, 2012

(elephant ear plants are usually taro-like - usually (but not always) big, rhizome-growing affairs)
posted by jquinby at 11:57 AM on March 30, 2012

Best answer: That's absolutely a begonia. No other plant flowers quite like that. I saw one of these just the other week at a tropical plant show and sale.

Now, begonias are hybrid constantly, there's a bazillion different kinds. There's a few begonia growers who could tell you exactly what the appropriate Latin name for this is, but it'd be hard with just the Internet. (Though there are surely some fabulous begonia forums!)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:00 PM on March 30, 2012

Response by poster: Yeah, elephant ear didn't seem right to the owner of this plant, although I think that's the name given to her when she took the clipping from a relative. Begonia doesn't seem quite right either- the leaves are quite thick and waxy compared to what I can see, although the shape seems right and the flowers look similar.
posted by sunshinesky at 12:00 PM on March 30, 2012

Yeah, I'm seconding begonia: See "Freddy" (about halfway down page).
posted by Ys at 12:03 PM on March 30, 2012

Response by poster: Oh, sorry I didn't preview on RJ's comment. If you say there are a bazillion hybrids of begonia, I'm willing to bet you're right!

Thanks for the guidance everyone. This plant's caretaker will surely appreciate knowing where to look.
posted by sunshinesky at 12:07 PM on March 30, 2012

Best answer: Neat - based on Freddie's parentage, maybe 'Begonia x erythrophylla'? Someone IDs some similar hybrids in this thread (which is in Spanish)
posted by jquinby at 12:08 PM on March 30, 2012

Best answer: Is it the Begonia Erythrophyla maybe?
posted by Ys at 12:14 PM on March 30, 2012

this just erased a lifetime of anti-begonia bias. what an amazing character that plant is!
posted by batmonkey at 12:23 PM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's a begonia. Here is an elephant ear plant for comparison.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 12:42 PM on March 30, 2012

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