The name Iron cross begonia comes from the rust-coloured patterning on this little plant’s leaves. It’s most typically found in forests in China, where it will grow up to about 50cm tall.
Begonias have become popular across the world, both as indoor and outdoor plants (the dramatically flowering ones are a British garden staple). Iron cross may flower, with tiny white blooms, but the real attraction here is the vividly patterned leaves.
Grown inside, it likes a lot of light and an atmosphere that’s not overly dry. Lower humidity can lead to crispy edges on its leaves. It will live fairly contentedly in a semi-shade, but if you can give it lots of indirect light you’ll see that foliage at its most spectacularly colourful. You can help it grow by giving it a feed with liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer.