Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae. The genus contains 1,795 different plant species. The begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. In temperate climates some species are cultivated outside in summertime for their bright colourful flowers, which have sepals but no petals.
With 1,839 species, Begonia is the fifth-largest angiosperm genus. 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 contains numerous stamens, and the female has 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).
The genus name Begonia, coined by Charles Plumier, a French patron of botany, and adopted by Linnaeus in 1753, honours Michel Bégon, a former governor of the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). The hybrid below is a vigorous perennial growing in our garden and is the Begonia 'Dragon Wing Red" variety.
This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.