Begoniaceae

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Begonia Family

Begonia semiovata Liebm., an understory herb in the Begoniaceae. At La Selva, this species is particularly common along the path to the River Station. Una hierba del sotobosque. En La Selva, esta especie es muy común cerca del sendero hacia la Estación del Río.


Description: Begoniaceae are probably familiar as temperate zone houseplants. The family has simple, alternate leaves with very asymmetrical bases, sometimes peltate, and large stipules. The flowers are unmistakable, with three twisted styles, and swollen, fleshy calyx parts. All of the Begoniaceae at La Selva are terrestrial understory herbs, except for Begonia glabra, an herbaceous climber that produces adventitious roots at the nodes.

Economic uses: Begonia semiovata is a traditional food plant for chickens in parts of Central America.


Descripción: Las Begoniaceas son muy comunes en jardines, y en invernaderos de las zonas templadas . La familia tiene hojas simples y alternas, con la base muy asimétrica, a veces peltadas, y con estípulas grandes. Las flores son inconfundibles, con tres estilos retorcidos, y el cáliz grueso y suculento. Todas las Begoniaceas en La Selva son hierbas del sotobosque, con excepción de la trepadora Begonia glabra, con raíces adventicias que salen de los nudos.

Usos económicos: En varias partes de Centroamérica se usa Begonia semiovata como alimento para pollos.


Genera/species at La Selva: 1/6: Begonia.


FIELD MARKS - typical “Begonia” flowers.


Begonia sericoneura.
Begonia multinerva. Photo by R. Aguilar courtesy of La Flora Digital de la Selva.
Begonia
Begonia sericoneura climbing up the trunk of a tree.
Begonia semiovata has alternate leaves with asymmetrical bases. If you have seen a potted begonia growing as a houseplant, then you will instantly recognize this family.


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Next family: Bignoniaceae > >
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