Three New Begonia Plant Species Discovered in Brazil

Posted on January 17, 2015

Begonia paganuccii

Three new begonia plant species have been discovered in Brazil. The begonia genus of flowering plants is known for its colorful flowers and as a decorative plant in the horticulture industry.

There are over 1,500 known species of begonias. The species is also easy to hybridized which greatly increases the varieties. You can find out more about Begonias on the American Begonia Society website at begonias.org.

The new begonia species in Brazil were found in small, confined areas. This likely explains why they had not been discovered earlier. Botanists believe most Begonia species are from Africa but the researchers believe these three newly discovered species are likely native and endemic to Brazil.

The newly discovered species Begonia paganuccii is pictured above. The scientists say it is characterized by a "dendritic indumentum, stipules lanceolate, and transversally elliptic leaf-blades, 6- or 7-lobed." The other two species are named Begonia delicata and Begonia elianeae.

The new species are described here in an article in the journal Phytokeys. The authors say in a statement, "The three new begonia were discovered as a part of the preparation of the taxonomic treatment of Begonia for the state of Bahia, Brazil. In addition to field work in different habitats, we studied specimens from 24 Brazilian herbaria. We were happy to be able to describe three new additions to the diverse Begonia flora found in the region."

Photo: Bernarda de Souza Gregorio