Three-Petal Begonia
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Three-Petal Begonia
ative Photo: Alok Mahendroo
Common name: Three-Petal Begonia
Botanical name: Begonia dioica    Family: Begoniaceae (Begonia family)
Synonyms: Begonia tenella, Begonia amoena

Three-Petal Begonia is Himalayan wildflower which is somewhat similar to Painted Leaf Begonia. It is a herb 10-22 cm tall. Leaves are hairless, unlike the Painted Leaf Begonia, 5-10 x 3-7 cm, ovate, double-toothed, heart-shaped, long-pointed. Leaf-stalks are 5-8 cm long, hairless. Bracts are 1.3 cm, ovate, hairless. Flower-stalks and stalks of the inflorescence are hairless. Flowers are pale pink-white. Male flowers have 2 outer petals, ovate, 2 smaller inner petals. Female flowers are distinguishing, with their 3 petals, the outer 2, 0.8-1 cm, broadly oblong, hairless, inner lateral, 3-5 mm, oblong. Styles are 3, persistent, stigmas branched, papillose; ovary hairless. Capsule is 0.8-1.2 cm long, 3-winged, wings 3-5 mm broad, almost equal, horizontal, hairless. Seeds are elongated. Three-Petal Begonia is found on shady banks, rock ledges or sometimes as forest epiphyte, in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Sikkim, at altitudes of 2100-2700 m. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Kalatope-Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.
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