Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Begonia hirtella Link

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Leaves, flowers and fruit. © ATH
Leaves, flowers and fruit. © ATH
Herbarium specimen. © CSIRO

Link, J.H.F. (1822) Enumeratio Plantarum Horti Regii Berolinensis Altera. Berlin 2: 296. Type: Bras.

Common name

Brazilian begonia; Begonia


Fibrous-rooted, short-lived perennial herbs 10-60 cm tall; stems red-tinged, erect, branched and covered with long flexuous hairs, especially when younger.


Leaves widely spaced, membranous, blades oblique to the petioles, reniform-ovate, 3-11 x )2-4 cm, upper surface sparsely hirtellous, lower surface sparsely hirtellous only along the secondary veins, margins irregularly shallowly toothed and ciliate; petioles reddish, 1.5-7 cm long, stipules lanceolate-oblong, 0.7-1.1 cm long, conspicuously long-ciliate, persistent.


Flowers pendent, fleshy, bracts deciduous; staminate perianth parts 2 or 4, outer broadly suborbicular, 5-7 mm long, inner when present, narrowly elliptic, 2-3.5 mm long; female perianth parts 5, similar to male but smaller.


Capsules ellipsoid, 0.6-0.8 cm long, with 3 prominent wings, the larger wing 10-15 mm wide.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from South America now naturalised in NEQ. Altitudinal range from 30-100 m. Grows in margin of rainforest and along creeks in rainforest.

Natural History & Notes

A popular garden plant in tropical areas.

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