Kekar Monying Begonia
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Kekar Monying Begonia
P Native Photo: Dipankar Borah
Common name: Kekar Monying Begonia
Botanical name: Begonia kekarmonyingensis    Family: Begoniaceae (Begonia family)

Kekar Monying Begonia is a newly discovered (2021) Begonia which is a perennial, rhizome-bearing herb, 15-30 cm tall. It is named for Kekar Monying, a place of historical significance and a tourist attraction, where the new species was found. It is similar to Red-Hair Begonia in having pseudo-opposite leaves subtending the inflorescence, and having tepals which are hairy below. It differs in having denser hairs on the upper leaf surface which are much shorter, giving the leaf a rough appearance (not glossy). Tepals which although hairy below have shorter and more sparse hairs, and sparser and shorter hairs on the leaf-stalks and flower-cluster-stalks. It is also a smaller plant, less than a foot (whereas Red-Hair Begonia is up to 2 ft tall) and has shorter internodes, less than 3 cm long on the erect stem (Red-Hair Begonia has up to 23 cm). Flowers are 3-6 per inflorescence. Male flowers: flower-stalk red, 5-10 mm long, hairy with deep pink hairs, tepals 4, outer 2 larger, white, slightly red at the base, broadly ovate, 11-15 x 11-15 mm, outside covered with red bristly hairs towards the base; inner 2 smaller, white, ovate, 11-13 x 9-10 mm, hairless. stamens 80-120, filaments 2-3 mm long. Female flowers: flower-stalk red, 2-5 mm long; flower 15-19 mm in diameter; tepals 4-5, white, outer 2 ovate, 10-15 x 6-13 mm, covered with red bristly hairs at the base, inner 2-3 similar to the outer tepals in shape and size, hairless; styles 2, free, 3-8 mm long, with a convoluted stigmatic band, yellow. Ovary is 4-5 x 3-4 mm excluding the wings, pinkish white, bristly, three-winged, longest wing 5-8 mm wide, lateral wings 1-2 mm wide; locules 2, placenta 2 per locule. Kekar Monying Begonia

Identification credit: Dipankar Borah Photographed in Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh.

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