Red-Hair Begonia
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Red-Hair Begonia
P Native Photo: Momang Taram
Common name: Red-Hair Begonia
Botanical name: Begonia cathcartii    Family: Begoniaceae (Begonia family)
Synonyms: Begonia nemophila, Platycentrum cathcartii

Red-Hair Begonia is a rhizome forming perennial herb up to 30 cm tall, when young bearing coarse deflexed hairs with broad bases (leaving white lenticular scars where these have fallen). Flowers are borne in few flowered clusters at branch ends, carried on 2.8- 8.3 cm long, hairy stalks. Male flowers have 4 tepals. Female flowers have 5 tepals. Outer tepals are nearly round, 1.5-2.5x1.5-2.5cm, white, often with reddish, coarse hairs on the outside; inner tepals obovate, 1-1.5 x 1-1.5 cm. Stamens are numerous, forming a spherical mass about 8 mm in diameter. Styles are 3, style branches convolute; ovary densely hairy. Leaves are ovate, 6-10 x 3.5-6cm, tapering, base obliquely heart-shaped, margin sawtoothed-toothed, fringed with hairs, velvet-hairy above, hairless or with a few coarse hairs along veins beneath; leaf-stalks 3-10 cm, bearing coarse, deflexed hairs. Capsule is about 10 x 4 mm, with one large wing about 1 cm, ascending, rounded toward base, and 2 smaller wings about 5 mm. Red-Hair Begonia is found in Eastern Himalayas, in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Darjeeling; Myanmar, at altitudes of 1800-2800 m. Flowering: May-July.

Identification credit: Momang Taram Photographed in Arunachal Pradesh

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