East-Himalayan Begonia
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East-Himalayan Begonia
P Native Photo: Momang Taram
Common name: East-Himalayan Begonia
Botanical name: Begonia griffithiana    Family: Begoniaceae (Begonia family)
Synonyms: Begonia episcopalis, Mezierea griffithiana

East-Himalayan Begonia is an erect or cascading, herb, 50-100 cm tall. Stem is slightly woody, stout at the base. Stipules: are lanceshaped, 4-13 x 1-2 mm. Leaf-stalk is 0.2 –1 cm long, woolly; blade oblong-lanceshaped to lanceshaped, basifixed, base shallowly heart-shaped, 5-18 x 2-5 cm, strongly asymmetric, upper surface green, sparsely hairy to hairless, underside green, margin minutely toothed or with small teeth at ends of the main veins only, tip tapering. Flowers are borne in numerous-flowred cymes in leaf-axils or at branch-ends, carried on flower-cluster-stalk hairless, branching 2-3 times, primary 3-5 cm, secondary 2-4 cm, tertiary 1-1.5 cm, with 2-4 female and 4-8 male flowers. Male flower-stalks are 6-10 mm long, tepals 4; outer tepals round to oblong, 4-14 x 2-11 mm, pale pink to white, hairless, inner tepals lanceshaped to linear, 3-9 x 1-4 mm, pale pink, hairless; androecium with 20-30 stamens, filaments 1-2 mm long. , unequal, fused at base into a column. Female flower-stalks are 1.0-1.5 cm long, tepals 5-6, equal, 3-4 larger and 1-2 smaller, oblong elliptic to obovate-round, outer tepals 6-11 x 5-7 mm, pale pink to white, hairless, inner tepals similar but smaller. Ovary capsule is oblong-ellipsoid, 5-7 x 2-3 mm, pink, hairless, with one long triangular wing; styles 2, convoluted with slightly twisted ends, deciduous. Fruit is drooping; capsule oblong-ellipsoid, 14-18 x 4-6 mm, red, wing extending along the flower-stalk slightly, unequal, rounded triangle, 1.2-1.8 x 1.4-1.8 cm. East-Himalayan Begonia is found in Ne India, from Arunachal Pradesh to Meghalaya, also in Bhutan and Myanmar, at altitudes of 750-1400 m. Flowering: October-December.

Identification credit: Momang Taram Photographed in Kimin, Papum Pare distt. Arunachal Pradesh

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