Iron Cross Begonia
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Iron Cross Begonia
P Introduced Photo: Saroj Kasaju
Common name: Iron Cross Begonia
Botanical name: Begonia masoniana    Family: Begoniaceae (Begonia family)

Iron Cross Begonia is a very popular begonia in cultivation. It’s common name comes from the oval leaves which have a brown "iron cross" pattern, similar to that displayed on shields. Leaves have a very attractive blistered texture. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, on flower-cluster-stalk 10-54 cm. Flower-stalk are 5-14 mm. Flowers are 20-100 in a dichasial cyme. Male flower: tepals 4, outer 2 broadly ovate or nearly round, 5-11 × 6-12 mm, inner 2 oblong, 5-8 × 2-4.5 mm. Female flowers: tepals 3, outer 2 broadly ovate, oblong-obovate or nearly round, 8-12 x 7-13 mm, tip rounded, inner 1 oblong or obovate, 5-7.5 × 2-4.5 mm, tip blunt. Capsules are nodding, oblong to ellipsoid, 9-13 × 5-6 mm, reddish, glandular bristly, unequally 3-winged, largest wing obliquely crescent-shaped or strap-shaped, 4-9 mm. Iron Cross Begonia is native to Vietnam, initially thought to originate in China. Flowering: March-September.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju Photographed in Kalimpong, West Bengal.

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