Brazilian Begonia
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Brazilian Begonia
P Naturalized Photo: Preetha P.S.
Common name: Brazilian Begonia, Bearded Begonia
Botanical name: Begonia hirtella    Family: Begoniaceae (Begonia family)
Synonyms: Begonia brasila, Begonia ciliata, Begonia villosa

Brazilian Begonia is a robust, branched herb, with several red-tinged stems from the base and up to 2 cm in diameter there, branched, up to 75 cm tall, fleshy, thickly clothed in long, coarse, white hairs, becoming hairless. Flowers are borne in the upper leaf axils, on flower-cluster-stalks up to about 5 cm long, usually shorter than the leaf-stalk. Flowers are up to about 8 mm across, pure white, tepals of male flowers 2 or 4, outer broadly circular, 5-7 mm long, inner when present, narrowly elliptic, 2-3.5 mm long. Tepals of female flowers are 5, similar to male, but smaller. Stipules are ovate-lanceshaped, about 1 x 0.5 cm, membranous, whitish, tip long-pointed, margin fringed with hairs. Leaves are obliquely ovate, up to 10 x 8 cm, tip pointed, base flat or nearly so, margins irregularly rounded-toothed to sawtoothed, not or scarcely lobed, green above, thinly hairy, paler below, hairs nearly confined to the veins, leaf-stalks up to 9 cm long, fleshy, hairy. Fruits are 3-winged, rounded-oblong to cuneiform in outline, about 2 cm across the broadest part of the wings, placentae split, appearing bifurcate in transverse section. Brazilian Begonia is native to South America, naturalized in South India.

Identification credit: Preetha P.S. Photographed in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

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