Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Begonia coccinea Hook.

Large, sub-shrubby, cane-stemmed begonia with branching stems, ovate leaves, to 15cm long, reddish beneath and large coral-red flowers in drooping clusters.  Parent of many hybrids and varieties.  To 1m or more.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[Begonia coccinea has] stems from two to three feet in height, quite smooth, of a dull crimson colour, and marked with a few pale green streaks.  Leaves oblique, about six inches in length, glaucous, and green on both sides. […] Flowers bright scarlet, in loose panicles, rising from the axils of leaves towards the top of the stem.’  [FC p.274/1846].  ‘Unquestionably the most beauriful of the many handsome species of Begonia now known to our collections, and, apparently, a free flowerer.  It was imported by Mr. Veitch of the Exotic nursery, from the Organ Mountains of Brazil, that rich storehouse of vegetable beauties: being there detected by Mr. Lobb in 1841.  It blossomed at Mr. Veitch’s Nursery soon after it was received, namely, in April, 1842, when it was exhibited at the apartments of the Horticultural Society.’  [BM t.3990/1843].  Introduced to Britain in 1842.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Desideratum to Loddiges’, 13th February, 1848 [MP A2933-1, p.172].  It did not subsequently appear in the catalogues.  But see also Begonia rubra Blume.


Published Jun 20, 2009 - 04:07 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 04:53 PM

Figured are green, red-tinged leaves and deep red flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3990, 1843.

Begonia coccinea Hook. | BM t.3990/1843 | BHL

Family Begoniaceae
Region of origin


  • Begonia rubra [Hort.] 
Common Name

Angelwing begonia, Elephant?s ear

Name in the Camden Park Record

Begonia rubra 

Confidence level medium