name = "Begonia"

image_width = 250px
image_caption = "Begonia cultivars"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Cucurbitales
familia = Begoniaceae
genus = "Begonia"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = Selected species:
* "Begonia auriculata" Hook.
* "Begonia fusicarpa" Irmsch.
* "Begonia macrocarpa" Warb.
* "Begonia mannii" Hook.f.
* "Begonia oxyloba" Welw. ex Hook.f.

Begonia is a genus in the flowering plant family Begoniaceae. The only other member of the family Begoniaceae is "Hillebrandia", a genus with a single species in the Hawaiian Islands. The genus "Symbegonia" is now included in "Begonia". "Begonia" is the common name as well as the generic name for all members of the genus.

With fraction 1500+ species, "Begonia" is one of the ten largest angiosperm genera. The species are terrestrial (sometimes epiphytic) herbs or undershrubs and occur in subtropical and tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa and southern Asia. Terrestrial species in the wild are commonly upright-stemmed, rhizomatous, or tuberous. The plants are monoecious, with unisexual male and female flowers occurring separately on the same plant, the male containing numerous stamens, the female having a large inferior ovary and two to four branched or twisted stigmas. In most species the fruit is a winged capsule containing numerous minute seeds, although baccate fruits are also known. The leaves, which are often large and variously marked or variegated, are usually asymmetric (unequal-sided).

Because of their sometimes showy flowers of white, pink, scarlet or yellow color and often attractively marked leaves, many species and innumerable hybrids and cultivars are cultivated. The genus is unusual in that species throughout the genus, even those coming from different continents, can frequently be hybridized with each other, and this has led to an enormous number of cultivars. The American Begonia Society classifies begonias into several major groups: cane-like, shrub-like, tuberous, rhizomatous, semperflorens, rex, trailing-scandent, or thick-stemmed. For the most part these groups do not correspond to any formal taxonomic groupings or phylogeny and many species and hybrids have characteristics of more than one group, or fit well into none of them.

The genus name coined by Charles Plumier French patron of botany honors Michel Bégon, a former governor of the french colony of Haiti.


The different groups of begonias have different cultural requirements but most species come from tropical regions and therefore they and their hybrids require warm temperatures. Most are forest understory plants and require bright shade; few will tolerate full sun, especially in warmer climates. In general, begonias require a well-drained growing medium that is neither constantly wet nor allowed to dry out completely. Many begonias will grow and flower year-round but tuberous begonias usually have a dormant period, during which the tubers can be stored in a cool and dry place.

Begonias of the semperflorens group are frequently grown as bedding plants outdoors. A recent group of hybrids derived from this group is marketed as "Dragonwing Begonias"; they are much larger both in leaf and in flower. Tuberous begonias are frequently used as container plants. Although most "Begonia" species are tropical or subtropical in origin, the Chinese species "B. grandis" is hardy to USDA hardiness zone 6 and is commonly known as the "hardy begonia". Most begonias can be grown outdoors year-round in subtropical or tropical climates, but in temperate climates begonias are grown outdoors as annuals, or as house or greenhouse plants.

Most begonias are easily propagated by division or from stem cuttings. In addition, many can be propagated from leaf cuttings or even sections of leaves, particularly the members of the rhizomatous and rex groups.

The cultivar Kimjongilia is a floral emblem of North Korea.


References and external links

* [ American Begonia Society]
* [ Phylogenetic Relationships of the Afro-Malagasy Members of the Large Genus "Begonia" Inferred from trnL Intron Sequences]
* [ A Phylogeny of "Begonia" Using Nuclear Ribosomal Sequence Data and Morphological Characters]
* [,5,12;journal,29,1501;linkingpublicationresults,1:104878,1 A recircumscription of Begonia based on nuclear ribosomal sequences]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Begonia — Bégonia Bégonias …   Wikipédia en Français

  • bégonia — [ begɔnja ] n. m. • 1706; de Bégon, nom d un intendant de Saint Domingue ♦ Plante d Amérique tropicale (bégoniacées), ornementale, cultivée pour ses fleurs. Bégonia tubéreux. Bégonia rose. Bégonia double, à fleurs doubles. ♢ Loc. fam. Charrier… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Begonia — ist: der wissenschaftliche Name der Pflanzengattung der Begonien ein im Jahr 1920 von Karl Wilhelm Reinmuth entdeckter Asteroid, siehe (943) Begonia Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demse …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • begonia — 1751, from Fr. begonia (1706), named by Plumier for Michel Bégon (1638 1710), French governor of Santo Domingo (Haiti) and patron of botany …   Etymology dictionary

  • begônia — s. f. [Botânica] Planta originária das regiões quentes, cultivada pela sua folhagem decorativa e pelas suas flores vivamente coloridas.   ♦ Grafia em Portugal: begónia …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • begónia — s. f. [Botânica] Planta originária das regiões quentes, cultivada pela sua folhagem decorativa e pelas suas flores vivamente coloridas.   ♦ Grafia no Brasil: begônia …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • begonia — sustantivo femenino 1. Género Begonia. Planta perenne, de grandes hojas en forma de corazón y flores pequeñas de colores vistosos que se utiliza como planta de adorno. 2. Flor de esta planta: Las begonias no me gustan tanto como a ti …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • begonia — (Del fr. bégonia). f. Planta perenne, originaria de América, de la familia de las Begoniáceas, de unos cuatro decímetros de altura, con tallos carnosos, hojas grandes, acorazonadas, dentadas, de color verde bronceado por encima, rojizas y con… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • begonia — [bi gōn′yə] adj. [ModL, after M. Bégon (1638 1710), Fr governor of Santo Domingo & a patron of science] designating a family (Begoniaceae, order Violales) of dicotyledonous tropical plants n. any of a genus (Begonia) of plants of this family,… …   English World dictionary

  • Begonia — Be*go ni*a (b[ e]*g[=o] n[i^]*[.a]), n. [From Michel Begon, a promoter of botany.] (Bot.) A genus of plants, mostly of tropical America, many species of which are grown as ornamental plants. The leaves are curiously one sided, and often exhibit… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Begonĭa — (B. L., Schiefblatt, wegen der rothen Adern der Blätter auch Lebensbaum genannt), Pflanzengattung, welche die Familie der Begoniaeêen (s.d.) bildet, zur Monocle Polyandrie L. Von Plumier nach Michael Begon, Intendanten auf S. Domingo benannt.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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