Tripura Begonia
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Tripura Begonia
P Native Photo: Dixit Bora
Common name: Tripura Begonia
Botanical name: Begonia tripurensis    Family: Begoniaceae (Begonia family)

Tripura Begonia is newly discovered (2024) begonia species from Tripura. It is similar to Begonia thomsonii but differs in the size of the plant, hairiness, leaf-stalk length, flowers, stamens and fruits. It is a perennial, creeping herb, 20-30 cm high. Erect stems are only seen during flowering, reddish, minutely hairy. Leaves are 6 or 7; leaf-stalk 10-12 x 0.5-0.7 cm, densely hairy; blade 7-10 x 4-8 cm, ovate to broadly ovate, base heart-shaped, basal lobes overlapping when young. Flowers are borne in cymes in leaf-axils, few, somewhat-drooping, hairy, primary flower-cluster-stalk 5-10 cm long, secondary 1-3 cm long. Male flowers are 5-7, flower-stalk 1.5-2 cm long, velvet-hairy, tepals 4, white to pink, outer tepals broadly ovate to round, 1-1.2 x 1-1.1 cm, pinkish hairy on the outer surface, tip pointed, inner 2 tepals elliptic to ovate, 5-8 x 2-3 mm, hairless, tip blunt; stamens 40-60, about 2 mm long, almost equal, anthers obovate, tip notched, basifixed, lower anthers sub-stalkless, central anthers on a filament up to 2 mm long. Female flowers are 2 or 3, flower-stalk 1-1.2 cm long; tepals 5, pinkish-white, 4 outermost sub-equal, hairy on the outer surface, ovate, 9-10 x 4-5 mm, inner one smaller, hairless, elliptic to ovate, 6-7 x 3-4 mm, tip rounded; ovary 5-7 x 8-10 mm excluding wings, reddish, sparsely hairy locules 2; styles 2, 5-7 mm long, fused at the base, spiraled; wings 3, upper wing oblong, 6-8 x 3-5 mm, tip tapering, lateral wings 2, underdeveloped. Capsule is somewhat-drooping, 1.5-1.7 x 1.2-1.4 cm, upper wing larger 15-20 x 5-6 mm, lateral wings 2, 2-3 x 5-6 mm. As of now Tripura Begonia is known only from Tripura. Flowering: January-March.

Identification credit: Dipankar Borah, Dixit Bora Photographed near Dumboor Lake, Tripura.

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