Begonia L.

Begonia horticola Irmsch.

This species is accepted, and its native range is Congo to DR Congo.


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

Type: Congo-Kinshasa, wild in Botanic Garden of Eala, Chevalier 28045 (P, lecto., chosen by de Wilde).
Morphology General Habit
Epiphyte or scrambling terrestrial; stem branched, up to 8 mm wide, rooting at the nodes, becoming woody at the base; indumentum of peltate scales with fimbriate margins.
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules narrowly triangular, 1–2.4 cm long, persistent, not boat-shaped, keeled, apex acuminate, indumentum present on outside, glabrous within.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves thick, papery when dry, ± symmetrical or weakly oblique, elliptic to ovate, 6–14.5 × 3–7 cm, base obtuse to rounded, margin entire to remotely denticulate, apex acuminate, glabrous above, sparsely hairy beneath with dense indumentum on venation; venation pinnate; petiole 1.5–5 cm long, tomentose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Male flowers: tepals 4, free,  pink with dark red venation, the outer obovate to elliptic, 0.5–1.1 × 0.3–0.6 cm, the inner narrowly obovate, 0.3–0.7 × 0.1–0.3 cm; stamens 20–40, filaments fused at the base into a column; anthers narrowly ovoid, up to 3 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Female inflorescence with 3 flowers, peduncle ± 1.4 cm long; bracts similar to those in male inflorescence. Female flowers: sessile at first, tepals 4, free, colour and shape as in the male flowers, the outer 8–10 mm long, the inner 5–9 mm; ovary fusiform, without wings, 3–4-locular; placentation septal; styles not persistent in fruit; 3–4, simple, unforked, glabrous, yellow at the base, becoming darker towards the red simple stigmatic apex. Inflorescence axillary, a unisexual dichasial cyme; male inflorescence with up to 15 flowers, peduncle 4–15 mm long, each ramification subtended by a pair of opposite chartaceous, usually connate bracts up to 5 mm long, smaller in the upper parts of the inflorescence, not boatshaped, apex acuminate; pedicels 0.4–1 cm long; bracteoles absent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Mature fruits with a pedicel up to 1.7 cm long, fleshy, fusiform, 3–5(–6) cm long, terete in cross section, reddish, dehiscent by longitudinal slits.
de Wilde cites Purseglove 2674 from Uganda at K but says he has not seen the specimen. HJB has seen this specimen and thinks it is B. eminii. This would mean that B. horticola does not occur in East Africa, but could possibly be found there in future. It is however included in the key.
Flora districts: Uganda (no specimens seen), Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa

Doubtfully present in:


Native to:

Congo, Zaïre

Begonia horticola Irmsch. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Jan 1, 1990 s.coll. [s.n.], Belgium K000761005 holotype Yes

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 57: 242 (1921)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.
  • Lejoy, J., Ndjele, M.-B. & Geerinck, D. (2010). Catalogue-flore des plantes vasculaires des districts de Kisangani et de la Tshopo (RD Congo) Taxonomania. Revue de Taxonomie et de Nomenclature Botaniques 30: 1-307.


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • E.J. 57(2): 242 (1921)
  • F.C.B., Begoniaceae: 23 (1969)
  • Wageningen Univ. Pap. 2001–2: 113 (2002).

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.