Strawberry Begonia
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Strawberry Begonia
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Strawberry Begonia, Creeping saxifrage, Strawberry saxifrage, Creeping rockfoil
Botanical name: Saxifraga stolonifera    Family: Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage family)
Synonyms: Saxifraga chinensis, Saxifraga ligulata

Strawberry Begonia is a perennial herb 8-45 cm tall, but is not really a begonia. Flowers are borne in 7-61-flowered clusters. Sepals are spreading to curled back, ovate, 1.5-3.5 x 1-1.8 mm. Petals are 5, white, spotted, of which largest two are lanceshaped-oblong, 0.6-1.5 cm x 2-4 mm, base clawed, tip pointed, pinniveined; smallest three petals are ovate, 2-4.4 x 1.3-2 mm. Stamens 4-5.2 mm. Stolons are thread-like, densely crisped glandular hairy, with scaly leaves, stem glandular hairy. Basal leaves has leaf-stalk 15-21 cm, glandular piliferous. Leaf blade is spotted, somewhat heart-shaped or kidney-shaped to round, 1.5-7.5 x 2-12 cm, 7-11-lobed, glandular hairy, base somewhat flat or rounded to heart-shaped, margin irregularly toothed, tip blunt or pointed. Stem leaves and bracts 1-4, lanceshaped, about 6 × 2 mm. Strawberry Begonia is native to East Himalaya, China, Japan, South Korea, cultivated in hill-stations of India. Flowering: April-November.
Medicinal uses: Strawberry Begonia is considered to be antibacterial, antiphlogistic. There are growth-promoting substances in the leaves. The whole plant is depurative, febrifuge and suppurative. Its use promotes the drainage of pus. A decoction is used in the treatment of boils and abscesses, poisonous snakebites, otitis media, acute attacks of convulsions and haematemesis. The leaf juice is applied to aching ears, abscesses and inflammations.

Identification credit: Umberto Boni Photographed in Darjeeling & Delhi.

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