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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Begonia

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Cucurbitales > Family: Begoniaceae

About 1400 species, most of them native to tropical America and Asia but also found in Africa; 13 species are native to southern Africa, and an additional 21 species and two hybrids cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Begonia buttonii


Begonia caffra


Begonia coccinea


Begonia dissecta


Begonia dregei

Begonia geranioides


Begonia hirtella


Begonia homonyma


Begonia natalensis


Begonia richardsiana


Begonia sonderiana

Begonia suffruticosa


Begonia sutherlandii

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Begonia bunchii


Begonia coccinea

Native to Brazil.


Begonia corallina


Begonia conchifolia

Native to Costa Rica and Panama.


Begonia cubensis

Native to Cuba.


Begonia cucullata

Native from Brazil to Argentina. See McLellan et al. (1994).


Begonia eminii

Native to tropical Africa.


Begonia foliosa

Native from Venezuela to Ecuador.


Begonia hemsleyana

Native to China.


Begonia hispida

Native to Brazil.


Begonia imperialis

Native to Mexico.


Begonia incarnata

Native to Mexico.


Begonia luxurians

Native to Brazil.


Begonia macrocarpa

Native to tropical Africa.


Begonia manicata

Native to Mexico.


Begonia phyllomaniaca

Native to Brazil.


Begonia pustulata


Begonia rex

Native to India.


Begonia sanguinea

Native to Brazil.


Begonia scharffiana

Native to Brazil.


Begonia wallichiana

Native to Mexico.


Begonia x ricinifolia


Begonia x semperflorens



  • Bredenkamp, C.L. 2000. Begoniaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 174. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

  • Hilliard, O.M. 1976. Begoniaceae. Flora of Southern Africa 22: 137-144.

  • McLellan, T. 1990. Development of differences in leaf shape in Begonia dregei (Begoniaceae). American Journal of Botany 77: 323337.
  • McLellan, T. 1993. The roles of heterochrony and heteroblasty in the diversification of leaf shapes in Begonia dregei (Begoniaceae). American Journal of Botany 80: 796804.
  • McLellan, T., Cloete, E.C. & Bosa, A.J.N. 1994. Naturalization of Begonia cucullata in the Port St. Johns area, Transkei. South African Journal of Botany 60: 136137.
  • McLellan, T. & Dengler, N.G. 1995. Pattern and form of repeated elements in the development of simple leaves of Begonia dregei. International Journal of Plant Sciences 156: 581589.