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.

    |--Begoniella YY22
    |--Hillebrandia YY22
    |--Semibegoniella YY22
    |--Symbegonia YY22
    |--Barya Klotzsch 1854 KC01
    |--Magnusia Klotzsch 1854 KC01
    `--Begonia WM09
         |--B. cathcartii D07
         |--B. cucullata WM09
         |--B. decora KTG03
         |--B. domingensis J87
         |--B. fallax VM03
         |--B. metalica NDA05
         |--B. platyptera J87
         |--B. plumieri J87
         |--B. pycantha J87
         |--B. sanguinea NDA05
         |--B. semperflorens MH98
         `--B. venusta KTG03

*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.

[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.

[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.

[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.

Last updated: 5 September 2020.

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