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Pennywort Begonia, Miniature Pond Lily
Begonia hydrocotylifolia

Family: Begoniaceae (be-gon-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Begonia (be-GON-yuh) (Info)
Species: hydrocotylifolia (hi-droh-kot-ih-lee-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Begonia hydrocotylefolia
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6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Bloom Time:

Mid Winter


Grown for foliage







Other details:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From leaf cuttings

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Olhão Municipality,

Cowarts, Alabama

Salinas, California

Bonita Springs, Florida

Louisville, Kentucky

Westminster, Maryland

Rosemount, Minnesota

Canton, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi

Fort Worth, Texas

Harker Heights, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 20, 2008, huha17 from Westminster, MD wrote:

I included my location in Maryland on the successful growing areas but wanted to make it clear that this plant is brought in before it gets too cold outside. It used to spend the summer days in a bright area outside but this last year we just kept it in at a bright window.


On Sep 2, 2008, begoniacrazii from Northern California, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

B. hydrocotylifolia was discovered in Mexico in 1841 and is a rhizomatous begonia with a short thick succulent and creeping rhizome.

A small leaved species with leaves reaching 3 by 2 1 /2 inches. Leaves are thick and leathery, dark green in color, with splotching in lighter green on the edges. The back side of the leaf is light red. The brownish green petioles are 1 1/2 to 3 inches long and keep the plant compact.

Flowers are small and light pink, blooming in the winter to early spring.

B. hydrocotylifolia is the seed parent to the popular B. 'Erythrophylla'


On Sep 27, 2006, Ordine1 from Slidell, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I've been having this plant for going on 10 years. It was given to me by a neighbor. It's in a very large pot so I leave it out for the winter. It's freezes back in the cold then comes back and blooms beautifully as ever in spring. By late summer it is lush and full.


On Apr 23, 2004, sclarke from Macungie, PA wrote:

i received rhizome cuttings of this beautiful cultivar as a gift, in the dead of a very cold winter. it took very fast to its potting soil and is a vigorous and beautiful grower.