Mark's Begonia
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Mark's Begonia
P Native Photo: Momang Taram
Common name: Mark's Begonia
Botanical name: Begonia markiana    Family: Begoniaceae (Begonia family)

Mark's Begonia is a newly discovered (2022) Begonia which is an erect to creeping, monoecious herb, 30-60 cm tall. It is named for Mark Hughes who is one of the leading scholars involved in unraveling the Begonias of NE India. Male flower: flower-stalk 1.5-2 cm long, hairy; tepals 4, inner 2.1-2.5 x 0.8-1.3 cm, outer 2.2-2.6 x 1.6-2.4 cm, inner and outer light pink to dark pink, hairy above, hairless below; outer tepals round to ovate; inner tepals lanceshaped-ovate; androecium with 70-80 stamens, symmetric; filaments about 0.1cm, anther oblong elliptic-obovate, about 0.2 cm long, connective slightly extended. Female flower: flower-stalk 1.5-2 cm long, hairy; tepals 5, overlapping unequal, round-ovate, inner 2.1-2.5 x 0.8-1.3 cm, outer 2.2-2.6 x 1.6-2.4 cm, inner and outer light pink to dark pink (white), hairy above, hairless below; ovary 2-locular, placentae bifid, styles 2, about 0.2 cm long; stigma yellow coiling. Flowers are borne in leaf-axil cymes, sometimes subtended with a pair of leaves, few; flower-cluster-stalks 3-11 cm x 0.2-0.3 cm, hairy, with 1-3 female flowers and 1-3 male flowers; bracts 1-1.3 x 0.5-0.7 cm, lanceshaped to ovate-lanceshaped, reflexed. Stem is stout, 0.4-0.8 cm wide, white hairy to woolly, internodes 6-20 cm long, indumentum white hyaline. Stipules ovate, 1-1.5 cm x 0.6 -1 cm, margin entire, tip tapering, hairy below, hairless above, semi-persistent. Leaves are alternate, leaf-stalk 5-13 cm long, white hairy; blade ovate to broadly ovate, basifixed, base heart-shaped with lobes overlapping (rarely non-overlapping) 6-10 cm x 4-0 cm, asymmetric, upper surface dark green with dark red patches on the central part of blade, venation palmate, veins 7-9; margin rounded toothed to sawtoothed, fringed with hairs; tip tapering. Capsules are ellipsoid, 1-1.5 cm long, densely hairy, with one long round oblong wing and two short triangular wings; longest wing 0.5-1 cm long; side wings 0.2-0.5 cm long; wings extending along the flower-stalk slightly. Mark's Begonia is currently known only from the Lower Dibang Valley in Arunchal Pradesh. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Momang Taram Photographed in Lower Dibang Valley, Arunchal Pradesh.

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