Begonia semperflorens, photographed by Horváth Dávid.

Belongs within: Cucurbitales.

The Begoniaceae is a family of tropical and subtropical succulent-stemmed herbs. The majority of species are included in the genus Begonia with the remaining genera including only a handful of species each. A number of species of Begonia are popular as ornamentals.

Characters (from Gu, Peng & Turland): Perennial succulent herbs, very rarely subshrubs. Stem erect, frequently rhizomatous, or plants tuberous and either acaulescent or shortly stemmed, rarely lianoid or climbing with adventitious roots, or stoloniferous. Leaves simple, rarely palmately compound, alternate or all basal, petiolate, stipules usually deciduous; blade often oblique and asymmetric, rarely symmetric, margin irregularly serrate and divided, occasionally entire, venation usually palmate. Flowers unisexual, plants monoecious, rarely dioecious, (1 or)2-4 to several, rarely numerous in dichotomous cyme, sometimes in panicles, with pedicel and bracts. Staminate flower: tepals 2 or 4 and decussate, usually outer ones larger, inner ones smaller; stamens usually numerous; filaments free or connate at base; anthers 2-celled, apical or lateral. Pistillate flower: tepals 2-5(-10), usually free, rarely connate at base; ovary nodding, pendulous, or ascending, 1-3-, rarely 4-8-loculed; placentae axile or parietal; styles 2 or 3(or more), free or fused at base, forked once or more; stigma turgid, spirally twisted-tortuous or U-shaped, capitate or reniform and setose-papillose. Capsule dry, sometimes berrylike, unequally or subequally 3-winged, rarely wingless and 3- or 4-horned; seeds very numerous, minute, oblong, testa pale brown, reticulate.

    |--Barya Klotzsch 1854KC01
    |--Magnusia Klotzsch 1854KC01
         |--B. angularisR44
         |--B. cathcartiiD07
         |--B. cucullataWM09
         |--B. decoraKTG03
         |--B. domingensisJ87
         |--B. fallaxVM03
         |--B. metalicaNDA05
         |--B. palmataDD73
         |--B. platypteraJ87
         |--B. plumieriJ87
         |--B. pycanthaJ87
         |--B. rexKSM06
         |--B. roxburghiiDD73
         |--B. sanguineaNDA05
         |--B. semperflorensMH98
         |--B. silhetensisDD73
         `--B. venustaKTG03

*Type species of generic name indicated


[D07] Dash, S. S. 2007. Useful plants of Kabi Sacred Grove, Sikkim. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 79–88.

[DD73] Deb, D. B., & R. M. Dutta. 1973. Contribution to the flora of Tirap Frontier Division. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 69 (3): 547–573.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1–136.

[KTG03] Kiew, R., L. L. Teo & Y. Y. Gan. 2003. Assessment of the hybrid status of some Malesian plants using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism. Telopea 10 (1): 225–233.

[KSM06] King, R. C., W. D. Stansfield & P. K. Mulligan. 2006. A Dictionary of Genetics 7th ed. Oxford University Press.

[KC01] Kirk, P. M., P. F. Cannon, J. C. David & J. A. Stalpers. 2001. Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi 9th ed. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[MH98] Morikawa, H., A. Higaki, M. Nohno, M. Takahashi, M. Kamada, M. Nakata, G. Toyohara, Y. Okamura, K. Matsui, S. Kitani, K. Fujita, K. Irifune & N. Goshima. 1998. More than a 600-fold variation in nitrogen dioxide assimilation among 217 plant taxa. Plant, Cell and Environment 21: 180–190.

[NDA05] Nickrent, D. L., J. P. Der & F. E. Anderson. 2005. Discovery of the photosynthetic relatives of the “Maltese mushroom” Cynomorium. BMC Evolutionary Biology 5: 38.

[R44] Rayment, T. 1944. A critical revision of species in the zonata group of Anthophora by new characters (part I). Dobutu Gaku—Iho 1 (1): 1–33.

[VM03] Viswanathan, M. B., & U. Manikandan. 2003. A new species of Balsaminaceae, Impatiens tirunelvelica, from peninsular India. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 45: 189–194.

[WM09] Wang, H., M. J. Moore, P. S. Soltis, C. D. Bell, S. F. Brockington, R. Alexandre, C. C. Davis, M. Latvis, S. R. Manchester & D. E. Soltis. 2009. Rosid radiation and the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106 (10): 3853–3858.

[YY22] Yampolsky, C., & H. Yampolsky. 1922. Distribution of sex forms in the phanerogamic flora. Bibliotheca Genetica 3: 1–62.

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