The Begoniaceae are a family of flowering plants with about 1400-1500 species occurring in the subtropics and tropics of both the New World and Old World. All but one of the species are in the genus Begonia. The only other genus in the family, Hillebrandia, is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and has only one species.
Description[change | change source]
Plant and leaves[change | change source]
Most of the plants in this family are perennial herbaceous plants and very few are shrubs o subshrubs; they are from only a few centimetres to 3 metres tall. Their leaves and stems are succulents, that is, leaves and stems are juicy and store water.
Stems are upright (vertical) and many species form rhizomes or tubers (fleshy, thickened underground stems). In some cases, the stems are very short and the leaves are in a group close to the soil.
The leaves of most species are simple, undivided and with sides more or less unequal; in very few cases they are compound (divided). They are alternate or, when the stem is very short, they are all in a group.
Flowers and fruits[change | change source]
Begoniaceae plants are mostly monoecious, so there are male and female flowers on the same plant; very few are dioecious, with only one kind of flower so the plants are either male or female. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences.
Chromosome number[change | change source]
Genera[change | change source]
The family Begoniaceae was named in 1820 as Begoniae by the Bohemian scientists Friedrich Graf von Berchtold and Jan Svatopluk Presl in Prirozenosti Rostlin, 1:270, and then in 1824 as Begoniaceae by the Swedish botanist Carl Adolph Agardh, published in Aphorismi Botanici.
There are two genera in this family:
- Begonia, with approximately 1400 species that are widely distributed in the tropics.
- Hillebrandia, with one species that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and the only member of the Begoniaceae native to those islands.
Where they grow[change | change source]
Uses[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Cuizhi Gu, Ching-I Peng & Nicholas J. Turland. "Begoniaceae in Flora of China". Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T. & Ballings, P. "Begoniaceae - Begonia family". Flora of Zimbabwe. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz. "Begoniaceae C.A. Agardh." The familes of flowering plants. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Agardh, C. A. "Aphorismi Botanici" (in Latin). p. 200. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Laura Lowe Forrest, Mark Hughes & Peter M. Hollingsworth (2005). "A phylogeny of Begonia using nuclear ribosomal sequence data and non-molecular characters". Systematic Botany 30: 671-682. http://www.rbge.org.uk/assets/files/science/6.1_Tropical/Forrest%20et%20al%202005.pdf.
- Wendy L. Clement, Mark C. Tebbitt, Laura L. Forrest, Jaime E. Blair, Luc Brouillet, Torsten Eriksson & Susan M. Swensen (2004). "Phylogenetic position and biogeography of Hillebrandia sandwicensis (Begoniaceae): a rare Hawaiian relict". American Journal of Botany 91: 905-917. http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/full/91/6/905.
- Shahina Ghazanfar and Parveen Aziz. "Begoniaceae C. Agardh in Flora of Pakistan". Retrieved 3 June 2013.
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Begoniaceae.|
|Wikispecies has information on: Begoniaceae.|
- American Begonia Society
- Begonia - Gardenology.org
- A Phylogeny of Begonia Using Nuclear Ribosomal Sequence Data and Morphological Characters
- A recircumscription of Begonia based on nuclear ribosomal sequences
- Notes on the geography of South-East Asian Begonia and species diversity in montane forests
- Phylogenetic position and biogeography of Hillebrandia sandwicensis (Begoniaceae): a rare Hawaiian relict
- Phylogenetic Relationships of the Afro-Malagasy Members of the Large Genus Begonia Inferred from trnL Intron Sequences