Skip to main content
  1. Family: Begoniaceae C.Agardh
    1. Begonia L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropics & Subtropics to Central China.


    Begoniaceae, F. K. Kupicha. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978

    Herbs and subshrubs, often acaulescent (rarely so in F.Z. area), often with tuberous caudices or creeping rhizomes, or climbing by adventitious roots.
    Leaves ± asymmetric27, palmate-veined, lobed, toothed or entire, simple or very rarely pinnate (not in F.Z. area), sometimes peltate (not in F.Z. area); stipules free, persistent or deciduous.
    female flowers: tepals 2–5(6–9), often persistent; ovary inferior, (2)3(4–6)-locular (always 3-celled in F.Z. area), usually angled or winged; styles 2–6, free or connate, usually bifid but occasionally multifid (not in F.Z. area), branches stigmatic and often twisted; placentation axile, placentae entire or bilamellate (2-lobed in transverse section); ovules ?. male flowers: tepals 2–5, free or very rarely connate; stamens ?, filaments free or very rarely connate; anthers ovoid to oblong, rarely circular or linear, dehiscing by lateral slits or rarely with apical pores. Flowers monoecious, ± zygomorphic, in terminal and axillary cymes; tepals pink, orange, yellow or white.
    Fruit a capsule or berry, usually with irregular dehiscence; seeds minute and very numerous.

    Begoniaceae, Vanessa Plana, Martin J.S. Sands & Henk J. Beentje. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2006

    Description as for the family, except for those characters distinguishing Hillebrandia, namely: perianth segments (10 in male flowers, 8–10 in female flowers) in two distinct whorls, ovary semi-inferior, and fruit dehiscing between the styles.
    The genus Begonia has been divided into more than 60 Sections of which 16 are represented in Africa. Species belonging to five of these occur in the FTEA area together with B. humilis, a naturalised species of the American Section, Doratometra. A key to the Sections based only on species found in the FTEA is given on p. 21.

    Girmansyah D. 2017. Two new species of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from Long Duhung, Berau Regency, East Kalimantan, Borneo Island, Indonesia. Kew Bulletin 72:3. DOI 10.1007/S12225-016-9665-2

    Begonia duhungensis is another member of section Petermannia, but does have three alternate female flowers arising from the lower inflorescence. This character in unusual in section Petermannia in which, usually, the female flowers arise from the base of the inflorescences in pairs or as single flowers.



    Native to:

    Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Assam, Bangladesh, Belize, Bismarck Archipelago, Bolivia, Borneo, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Burundi, Cabinda, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Central African Repu, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Free State, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Guyana, Hainan, Haiti, Honduras, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jawa, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Leeward Is., Lesotho, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Maluku, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Réunion, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Socotra, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tibet, Togo, Trinidad-Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Windward Is., Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Alabama, Ascension, Cook Is., Eritrea, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Korea, Society Is., St.Helena

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Begonia L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Sep 1, 2016 Beaman, J.H. [6781], Sabah K001235072
    Sep 1, 1989 Thomas, D.W. [4201], Cameroon K000050456
    Guyana 6980.000
    Drummond, R.B. [1897], Tanzania 11576.000
    Osmaston, H.A. [1886], Congo, DRC 16619.000
    Forman, L. [248], Indonesia 17233.000
    Forman, L. [204], Indonesia 5181.000
    Forman, L. [207], Indonesia 5182.000
    Steyermark, J. [75502] 11574.000
    Mason, L.M., Guyana 9981.000
    Sands, M.J.S. [7252], Indonesia 72492.000
    Sands, M.J.S. [7253], Indonesia 72503.000
    Sands, M.J.S. [7253], Indonesia 72502.000
    Sands, M.J.S. [7210], Indonesia 74013.000
    Sands, M.J.S. [7171], Indonesia 74018.000
    Sands, M.J.S. [7138], Indonesia 74019.000
    Sands, M.J.S. [7150], Indonesia 73351.000
    Coode, M. [4607], Reunion 35416.000
    Coode, M. [5455], Philippines 49766.000
    Thomas, D.W. [4243], Cameroon K000051416
    Thomas, D.W. [3292], Cameroon K000051417
    Lewis, G.P. [753], Brazil 56000.000
    Johns, R.J. [9257], New Guinea 70626.000
    Johns, R.J. [10687], Indonesia 72495.000
    Johns, R.J. [9258], Indonesia 73349.000
    Beentje, H.J. [4650], Madagascar 62804.000
    Rico, L. [1484], Bolivia K000295443
    Rico, L. [1314], Bolivia K000295145
    Coode, M.J.E. [7191], Brunei 61305.000
    Sands [3921] 73692.000
    Sands [3933] 44012.000
    Mason, M., Guyana 5183.000
    Pan, J.T.S., Malaysia 52564.000
    Utteridge, T.M.A. [348], New Guinea 70654.000
    Lewis, G. P. [213], Malaya 76166.000
    Triono, T. [137], New Guinea 64381.000
    Triono, T. [136], New Guinea 70644.000
    Triono, T. [135], New Guinea 70638.000
    Triono, T. [134], New Guinea 70646.000
    Triono, T. [137], New Guinea 70630.000
    Wood, J. J. [941], Indonesia 65171.000
    De Silva, F. [Cat. no. 9107] K001132226
    s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.] K001132353
    Sands, M.J.S. [7033], Indonesia Symbegonia 74026.000
    Edwards, P.J. [4393], New Guinea Symbegonia 70460.000
    Utteridge, T.M.A. [191], Indonesia Symbegonia 70104.000
    Utteridge, T.M.A. [194], Indonesia Symbegonia 62411.000
    Willis, F.R. [270], Indonesia Symbegonia 72297.000


    First published in Sp. Pl.: 1056 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Girmansyah, D. (2009). A taxonomic study of Bali and Lombok Begonia (Begoniaceae) Reinwardtia 12: 419-434.
    • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.


    Kew Bulletin

    • Chong, F. Y., Guanih, V. S. & Rimi, R. (2015b). Begoniakibambanganensis and B. melanosticta (Begoniaceae), two New Species from Sabah, Borneo. Sandakania 20: 1 - 6.
    • Chong, F. Y., Guanih, V. S., Julia, S. & Kiew, R. (2015a). Begonia (Begoniaceae) in the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah, Borneo, includ­ing Eleven New Species. Sandakania 20: 51 - 85.
    • Girmansyah, D. & Susanti, R. (2015). Two new species of Begonia from Borneo. Kew Bull. 70: DOI 10.1007/S12225-015-9569-6
    • Joffre, A. A., Kiew, R., Julia, S. & Rimi, R. (2015). The Begoniaceae of Brunei Darussalam, Borneo, including Two New Species. Sandakania 20: 7 - 50.
    • Julia, S. , Kiew, R. & Ling, C. Y. (2015a). A Decade of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from Sarawak, Borneo. Sandakania 20: 129 - 154.
    • Julia, S. , Kiew, R. & Ling, C. Y & Geri, C. (2015b). Begonia (Begoniaceae) from Kubah National Park and Environs, Sarawak, Borneo, including a New Spe­cies. Sandakania 20: 87 - 106.
    • Julia, S. & Ling C. Y. (2015). Eight New species of Begonia (Begoniaceae) from Murum Dam, Sarawak, Bor­neo. Sandakania 20: 107 - 128
    • Kiew, R. , Julia, S., Rimi, R. & Joffre, A. A. (2015). A Guide to Begonias of Borneo. Natural History Publication (Borneo). Kota Kinabalu.
    • Rimi, R., Karim, R. M. & Mujih, H. (2015b). Three New Begonia (Begoniaceae) Species from Ultramafic Outcrops in Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia. Sandakania 20: 155 - 164.
    • Rimi, R., Sampang, K. & Limbawang, S. (2015a). Begonia (Begoniaceae) from Tawau Hills Park, Sabah, Malaysia, including Ten New Species. Sandakania 20: 165 - 204.
    • Julia, S. & Kiew, R. (2014). Diversity of Begonia (Begoniaceae) in Borneo — How many species are there? Reinwardtia 14: 233 - 236.
    • Lin, C. W., Chung, S. W. & Peng, C. I. (2014a). Begonia baik and B. padawanensis spp. nov. (Begoniaceae) from sandstone area in Sarawak, Malaysia. Nordic J. Bot. doi:10.1111/njb.00641.
    • Lin, C. W., Chung, S. W. & Peng, C. I. (2014b). Three new species of Begonia (section Petermannia, Begoniaceae) From Sarawak, Borneo. Phytotaxa 191 (1): 129 - 140.
    • Lin, C. W., Chung, S. W. & Peng, C. I. (2014c). Begonia hoesensis (section Reichenheimia, Begoniaceae) a new species from Sarawak, Malaysia. Taiwaniana 59 (4): 326 - 330. DOI:10.6165/tai.2014.59.4.326
    • IUCN (2012). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Second edition. IUCN, Gland and Cambridge.
    • Hughes, M. (2008). An Annotated Checklist of South-East Sulawesi Asian Begonia. Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
    • Kiew, R. (2005). Begonia in Peninsular Malaya. Natural History Publications (Borneo).
    • Kiew, R. (2001). The limestone Begonias of Sabah, Borneo — flagship species for conservation. Gard. Bull. Singapore 53(1 - 2): 241 - 286.
    • Doorenbos, J., Sosef, M. S. M. & De Wilde, J. J. F. E. (1998). The sections of Begonia including descrip­tions, keys and species lists (Studies in Begoniaceae VI). Wageningen Agr. Univ. Pap. 98(2): 1 - 266.
    • Candolle, A. L. P. P. de (1859). Memoire sur la famille des Begoniacees. Ann. Sci. Nat, Bot, Ser. 4 11: 93 - 149.
    • Linnaeus C. (1753). Species plantarum. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae [Stockholm].

    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • —F.T.A. 2: 569.

    Flora Zambesiaca

    • Barkley & Golding, The species of the Begoniaceae, ed. 2 (1974).
    • Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 475 (1754).
    • Sp. PL 2: 1056 (1753)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • E.J. 81: 106–188 (1961)
    • E.& P. Pf. ed. 2, 21: 548–588 (1925)
    • Sp. Pl. 2: 1056 (1753);


    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Interactive Key to Seed Plants of Malesia and Indo-China
    The Malesian Key Group (2010) Interactive Key to Seed Plants of Malesia and Indo-China (Version 2.0, 28 Jul 2010) The Nationaal Herbarium Nederland Leiden and The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Bulletin
    Kew Bulletin

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Science Photographs
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew