Iridescent-Leaf Begonia
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Iridescent-Leaf Begonia
P Native Photo: Momang Taram
Common name: Iridescent-Leaf Begonia
Botanical name: Begonia dicressine    Family: Begoniaceae (Begonia family)
Synonyms: Begonia putaoensis

Iridescent-Leaf Begonia is a perennial, evergreen herb, 15-20 cm high; rhizome prostrate, close to the ground; stem lacking; stipules papery, triangular, tip with a short sharp point, hairless, margin entire, 10 mm with mucro. Leaves are alternate; leaf-stalks, reddish brown, 50-70 x 3 mm, blade upper surface blackish green, iridescent, hairless, lower surface deep red to maroon, asymmetric, 8.5-11.5 x 5.5-7 cm, tip apiculate, base strongly oblique, lobes sometimes overlapping, margin irregularly rounded toothed with some fringed with hairs hairs, venation palmate/palmate-pinnate, veins 7. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in cymes with 3 or 5 flowers, males apical, females lateral; flower-cluster-stalk hairless, 3 cm long; bracts falling off, 2 on each flower-stalk, narrow lanceshaped-linear, about 2 x 7 mm, tip tapering, margin entire. Flower-stalks are hairless, about 2 cm long, whitish green; male flowers: tepals 4, all white, outer 2 with margins folded backwards at the tips, outer surface bristly with sparse red hairs bent towards tip, ovate-elliptic, 9 x 17 mm, tip rounded, inner 2 perianth segments obovate, 8 x 14 mm, tip rounded; stamens about 100. Female flowers: tepals 5-6, all white, hairless, elliptic 6 x 12 mm, tip rounded; ovary hairless, with 2 basal, lateral, small wings and 1 erect large wing, 11 mm long, locules 2. Stigma in a spiralled band connecting the two style lobes. Fruit strongly recurved, capsule ellipsoid, hairless or nearly so, shorter side-wings rim-like, longest wing 2.5 cm, linear-lanceshaped. Iridescent-Leaf Begonia is found in Myanmar and Arunchal Pradesh. Flowering: June-March.

Identification credit: Momang Taram Photographed in Changlang district, Arunachal Pradesh.

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