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Plants of Taiwan

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    台灣植物誌 第二版  Flora of Taiwan, 2nd edition    Vol. 3

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    台灣植物誌第二版  Flora of Taiwan, 2nd edition  3: 845

     93. BEGONIACEAE 秋海棠科
    CHEN, CHING-HSIA

    Herbs or undershrubs mostly succulent, rarely climbers. Stems distinctly jointed. Roots rhizomatous, tuberous or fiberous. Leaves alternate, subverticillate, simple, often unequal-sided or obliquely auriculate, entire or divided. Stipules semi-persistent or caducous, two to each leaf, free, membranaceous. Flowers monoecious, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, mostly in clusters of axillary bracteate cymes; perianth monochlamydeous or dichlamydeous. Staminate flower tepals 2-10, equal or unequal; stamens numerous, filaments free or connate at base; anthers 2-locular, longitudinally dehiscent, connectives often exserted. Pistillate flower tepals 2-8, equal or unequal, imbricate; staminodes small or absent; ovary inferior, angular or winged, 2-4 celled; carpels typically 3; ovules numerous in each cell, anatropous; placentas usually axile or arising from the septa, parietal; styles 2-5, free or slightly connate at base, often branched; stigmas often twisted, usually densely papillose all around. Fruit usually a capsule, rarely berry-like, longitudinally loculicidal or irregularly dehiscent, few indehiscent. Seeds minute and very numerous, with reticulate testa and scanty or no endosperm and a straight embryo.
    A family of five genera with more than 800 species, widely distributed in the Tropics, especially abundant in tropical northern South America, but absent from Polynesia and Australia.
    Twelve species and one form within the genus Begonia are found in Taiwan, commonly as undergrowth on forest floors throughout the island.

    LITERATURE

    Baranov, A. I. 1981. Studies in the Begoniaceae. Phytologia Mem. 4: 80-83.

    1. BEGONIA Linn. 秋海棠屬

    Mostly perennial herbs, sappy and succulent, stemless or caulescent. Stems swollen at nodes, erect, creeping or scandent. Leaves fleshy, cauline or from rhizomes or tubers, alternate, distichous, generally long-petiolate, stipulate, simple, ovate-acuminate, orbicular or peltate in outline, mostly cordate at base and often very unequal-sided or obliquely auriculate and strongly asymmetrical, entire or more or less with irregularly incised, digitately divided, laciniate, dentate or lobed margins, palmately or pinnately nerved. Stipules 2 to each leaf, free, membranaceous, often caducous, or semipersistent. Flowers monoecious, mostly in clusters of axillary cymes; peduncles axillary, divided into dichotomous cymes. Staminate flowers large in number and usually opening first, actinomorphic or often zygomorphic, showy and often of bright colors, mostly pink, white or reddish; tepals 2-4, petal-like, opposite, valvate, white or colored. Stamens numerous, in many whorls forming a dense capitulum; filaments free or variously connate; anther 2-locular, basifixed, continuous with filament, opening by longitudinal slits, rarely by pores; connectives mostly prolonged. Pistillate flowers with tepal more or less as on the staminate, larger, imbricate; ovary inferior, often 3-locular, rarely 2- or 4-to 5-locular, mostly 3-angular or winged, often colored, one wing often strongly developed; styles mostly as many as ovary-loculi, free or connate at base, 2-lobed or branched; stigmas prominent, oddly bent or spirally twisted like a corkscrew, papillose nearly all over; placentas axile; ovules many in each loculus, anatropous, inserted on placentas adnate to axis of ovary, rarely parietal. Fruit mostly a capsule, loculicidal or irregularly dehiscent, unequally 3-winged, or sometimes baccate. Seeds minute and very numerous, with scanty or no endosperm; embryo straight.
    About 800 species distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. And especially abundant in northern South America. In south eastern Asia the genus is best represented in the Philippines,