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Flora of Taiwan | Family List | Begoniaceae

Begonia Linn., Sp. Pl. 2: 1056. 1753.


Ching-I Peng

Begonia austrotaiwanensis

Credit: Ching-I Peng

Augustia Klotzsch in Monatsb. Berl. Acad. 124 (Maerz 1854); et Abh. Akad. Berl. 80. t. 8.B. 1854.

Barya Klotzsch in Monatsb. Berl. Acad. 122 (Maerz 1854); et in Abh. Akad. Berl. 22. t.2, B. 1854.

Begoniella Oliver in Trans. Linn. Soc. 23: 513. 1873.

Diploclinium Lindl. Veg. Kingd. 319. 1847.

Platycentrum Klotzsch in Abh. Akad. Berl. 123. t. 11 B. 1854 (1855)

Reichenheimia Klotzsch in Abh. Akad. Berl. 54. t. 4A. 1854 (1855)

Symbegonia Warb. in Engl. & Prantl, Naturl. Pflanzenfam 3(6a): 149. 1894.

Mostly perennial herbs, sappy and succulent, stemless or caulesent. stems swollen at nodes, erect, creeping or scandent. Leaves fleshy, cauline or from rhizomes or tuber, alternate, distichous, generally long-petiolate, stipulate, simple, ovate-acuminate, orbicular or pelate in outline, mostly caodate at base and often very unequal-sided or obliquely auriculate and strongly asymmetrical, entire or more or less with irregularly incised, digitately divided, laciniate, dentate or lobed margins, palmately or pinnately nerved. Stipule 2 to each leaf, free, membranaceous, often caducous, or semipersistent. Flowers monoecious, mostly in clusters of axillary cymes; peduncle axillary, divided into dichotomous cymes. staminate flowers large in number and usually opening first, actionmorphic or often zygomorphic, showy and often of bright colors, mostly pink, white or reddish; tepals 2-4, petal like, opposite, valvate, white or colored. Stamens numerous, in many whorls forming a dense capitulum; filaments free or variously connate; anther 2-locular, basifixed, continuous with filament, opening by longitudinal slits, rarely by pores; connectives mostly prolonged. Pistillate flowers with tepal more or less as on the staminate, lager, imbricate; ovary inferior, often 3-locular, rarely 2-or 4- to 5-locular, mostly 3-angular or winged, often colored, one wing often strongly developed; styles mostly as many as ovary-loculi, free or connate at base, 2-lobed or branched; stigmas prominent, oddly bent or spirally twisted like a corkscrew, papillose nearly all ovary; placentas mostly axile; ovules many in each loculus, anatropous, inserted on placentas adnate to axil of ovary, rarely parietal. Fruit mostly a capsule, loculicidal or irregularly dehiscent, unequally 3-winged, or sometimes baccate. Seeds minute and very numerous, with scanty or no endosperm; embryo straight.

Lai, M.-J. 1979. Critical studies on some Begonia from Taiwan. Taiwania 24: 35-37.

Liu, Y.-C. & C.-H. Ou. 1982. Contributions to the dicotyledonous plants of Taiwan (Ⅶ). Bull. Exp. Forest Natl. Chung Hsing Univ. 4: 1-16.

Peng, C.-I., Y.-K. Chen & H.-F. Yan. 1988. Begonia ravenii (Begoniaceae), a new species from Taiwan. Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin. 29: 217-222.

Chen, Y.-K. 1988. A systematic study of Begonia L. (Begoniaceae) of Taiwan. Master Thesis. Chinese Culture University, Taipei.

Peng, C.-I. & Y.-K. Chen. 1990. Begonia austrotaiwanensis (Begoniaceae), a new species from southern Taiwan. Journ. Arnold Arbor. 71: 567-574.

Peng, C.-I. & Y.-K. Chen. 1991. Hybridity and parentage of Begonia buimontana Yamamoto (Begoniaceae) from Taiwan. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 78: 995-1001.

Lai, M.-J., C.-S. Leou & N.-J. Chung. 1992. Begonia nantoensis, a new species from Taiwan. Quart. J. Expt. Forest, NTU 6(1): 59-63.

Peng, C.-I. & C.-Y. Sue. 2000. Begonia ×taipeiensis (Begoniaceae), a new natural hybrid in Taiwan. Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin. 41(2): 151-158.

Peng, C.-I & T.-Y. Chiang. 2000. Molecular confirmation of unidirectional hybridization in Begonia ×taipeiensis Peng (Begoniaceae) from Taiwan. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 87: 273-285.

Chiang, T.-Y., K.-H. Hong & C.-I Peng. 2001. Experimental hybridization reveals biased inheritance of the internal transcribed spacer of the nuclear ribosomal DNA in Begonia ×taipeiensis. J. Plant Res. 114: 343-351.

Tebbitt, M.C. 2003. Taxonomy of Begonia longifolia Blume (Begoniaceae) and related species. Brittonia 55(1): 19–29.


1 Plant acaulescent; inflorescences arising directly from rhizome.   (2)
+ Plant caulescent; inflorescences arising from axils of cauline leaves.   (3)
2 (1) Tepals of pistillate flower 3 (very rarely 2 or 4);rhizome moniliform; stipules persistent; plant deciduous.   Begonia austrotaiwanensis
+ Tepals of pistillate flowers 5; rhizome not moniliform; stipules deciduous; plant evergeen.   Begonia fenicis
3 (1) Tepals 2 in both staminate and pistillate flowers; tubers and stolons produced from the erect stem base; plant deciduous.   Begonia ravenii
+ Tapals 4 in staminate flowers, 5 to 6 (to 8) in pistillate flowers; tubers and stolons lacking; plant evergreen.   (4)
4 (3) Plant with distinct creeping rhizome.   (5)
+ Plant without creeping rhizome.   (10)
5 (4) Plant densely or loosely pubescent throughout.   (6)
+ Plant glabrous to subglabrous.   (7)
6 (5) Leaves margins shollow toothed, densely pubescent.   Begonia palmata
+ Leaves margins lobulate, loosely pubescent.   Begonia nantoensis
7 (5) Leaves irregularly finely dentate; abaxial wing on capsules rotund to orbicular, 19-26 mm long.   Begonia chitoensis
+ Leaves laciniate; abaxial wing on capsules triangular, 7-16mm long.   (8)
8 (7) Pistillate flowers with 8 tepals.   Begonia taiwaniana
+ Pistillate flowers with 5 tepals.   (9)
9 (8) Leaves at least twice as long as wide.   Begonia xtaipeiensis
+ Leaves less than twice as long as wide.   Begonia formosana
10 (4) Plant densely pubescent.   Begonia xbuimontana
+ Plant glabrous to subglabrous.   (11)
11 (10) Capsules wingless.   Begonia longifolia
+ Capsules unequally 3-winged.   (12)
12 (11) Mature leaves narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, 7-14 cm long, 2-4 cm broad; petiole 2-4 cm long.   Begonia taiwaniana
+ Mature leaves broadly to narrowly ovate, 12-33 cm long, 6-14 cm broad; petiole 6-26 cm long.   Begonia lukuana

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