SOLVED: big, shiny, round leaves with radial vein pattern

San Diego, CA

I photographed some ti plants (Cordyline fruticosa) at an apartment complex in Huntington Beach (in Orange County), California this weekend, and I was curious about some unusual plants growing around the ti plants. This is a low plant with large green leaves, maybe 8-10 inches in diameter, mostly rounded leaves, each leaf with a radial vein pattern, they appear to be shiny, and they must be tasty for insects because they are full of holes. Those are begonias on the right. They have mostly tropical landscaping at that complex (ti plants, bamboo, pittosporum, begonias, Ficus, Strelitzia albinae are some of the species I saw there), so I wonder if this plant is some tropical or Hawaiian plant I don't know about.

Thumbnail by Fruticosa
San Diego, CA

Here's a closer view of the leaves. If you look closely, on the left is a stalk with small white flowers emerging from between the big round leaves. I can't be sure those flowers belong to the mystery plant, but I think they do, since they're not ti plant blooms or begonia blooms. The place has partly a Hawaiian theme, with a tiki outside, and Hawaiian music playing in the lobby, and ti plants are from Hawaii, so I think this might be a Hawaiian plant.

Thumbnail by Fruticosa
Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

It looks to me like some sort of fancy begonia, but I'm not positive.

Keaau, HI

It looks like Begonia nelumbiifolia, the Lily-Pad Begonia.

I grow them, and they are found in gardens in Hawai'i, but they are not Hawaiian plants. Their native range is from Mexico to Columbia.

Actually, none of the plants in the picture are true Hawaiian plants. They may be found in Hawaiian gardens, but are not of Hawaiian Islands origin.

Ti plants that are colorful are cultivars which originate from plants native to the Himalayas and throughout Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Northern Australia, and into the larger South Pacific Islands.

The Ti Plant that Hawaiians introduced to Hawai'i is the plain green one pictured below.

Aloha, Dave

Thumbnail by Metrosideros
Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

metro is right on the name of the begonia. They can get huge if grown in perfect conditions. Here is one at the conservatory at Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami.

Thumbnail by hcmcdole
San Diego, CA

Great work, all! I never would have guessed some kind of begonia: this was so tropical-looking. I will have more respect for begonias from now on.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

I'm intrigued by those now and would like to get one !

Oakley, CA

I have two plants with an identical leaf....however the flower is a yellow daisy appearing bloom on long spike growing from the base...finally drying and looking like dandilion seed. They are in containers and stand about five feet tall. we divide them at tthe base and they appear similar to tubers....any idieas?

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Sounds like ligularia.

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