Begonia aptera Blume, Enum. Pl. Javae 1: 97. 1827

Primary tabs

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Begonia Section

  • Platycentrum

Description

  • Monoecious, erect branched herb to 2 m tall, lacking rhizomes, stems fleshy, dull red, glabrous, 0.4-1.2 cm diam. ribbed (when dry) internodes 7-18 cm long.

    Stipules caducous, ovate to narrowly lanceolate, 0.8-2 × 0.2-0.45 cm, apex setose, elsewhere glabrous. Leaves: petioles 2.5-16.5 cm long, 1-3 mm diam. (when dry) glabrous, joining lamina at a transverse angle; lamina green on both surfaces, beneath paler, both surfaces glabrous, or below with very sparse microscopic glandular hairs in basal portion, asymmetric, broadly elliptic, 10-22 × 4-14 cm, ape× acute to acuminate, basal sinus cordate, 1-3 cm deep, basal lobes almost equal, overlapping, inner lobe 4-9.5 mm long, margin remotely short and somewhat irregularly bidentate, larger teeth angular, smaller teeth serrate, veins 6-7, palmate.

    Inflorescences axillary, a 2-3-branched dichasium, with up to 20 flowers, bearing male and female flowers synchronously on same inflorescence; peduncles ca. 1 cm long, glabrous; bracts caducous, narrowly ovate, 4-6 × 2.5 mm; bracteoles absent. Pedicels: those of male flowers with sparse microscopic glandular hairs, 6-7 mm long, those of female flowers glabrous, ca. 5 mm long.

    Male flowers: perianth segments white to pale pink, 4, outer pair broadly ovate to elliptic, concave, with very sparsely microscopic glandular hairs, 4-8 × 3-5 mm, apex rounded, inner pair broadly ovate to elliptic, glabrous, 3-8.5 × 2.8-4.2 mm, apex rounded; stamens 25-50, filaments 1-1.5 mm long, those in center slightly longer than the outer ones, fused at base, anthers wedge-shaped, 1.5-2 mm long, connective projecting ca. 0.2 mm, apex rounded, dehiscing via longitudinal slits along sides of anther.

    Female flowers: perianth segments white to pale pink, 6, broadly ovate to elliptic, subequal, 3.1-10 × 2.2-6 mm, pubescence as in male flowers; ovary fleshy, subglobose, 3-lobed, ca. 5 × 6.5 mm, with sparse microscopic glandular hairs, lobes with rounded riblike to obtuse-triangular wings to 1 mm long along center of each locule, 3-locular, placentation axile, placentas bifid, bearing ovules on both surfaces of placental branches; styles 3, caducous, 2.4-4 mm long, free or shortly fused at base, bifid from halfway, branches erect, stigmatic papillae broad, once or twice spirally twisted.

    Infructescences 1-10-fruited; fruiting pedicels 0.5-1 cm long; fruit fleshy, green becoming red, subglobose, to ca. 1 × 1.2 cm, glabrous or with sparse microscopic hairs as on ovary, locules with persistent wartlike remnants of wings when dry. (Tebbitt, M.C., Taxonomy of Begonia longifolia Blume (Begoniaceae) and Related Species in Brittonia 55(1). 2003)

Habitat

  • Forest floor species, primary and secondary forests, roadsides, between 100 and 1800 m a.s.l.

Conservation

  • Proposed IUCN category: LC. Widespread in Sulawesi and very frequently collected, including from secondary forests. (Hughes, M. An annotated checklist of Southeast Asian Begonia. 2008)
  • Least Concern (LC). Begonia aptera is widespread in eastern Malesia (Sulawesi, Moluccas and West New Guinea) and locally common in both primary and secondary forest habitats. Using GeoCAT (Bachman et al. 2011), the species’ Extend of Occurrence (EOO) was estimated at 690,000 km2. (Ardi, W.H., Chikmawati, T., Witono, J.R. & Thomas, D.C. (2018). A synopsis of Begonia (Begoniaceae) of Southeastern Sulawesi including four new species. Phytotaxa 381.1: 027-050.)

Distribution

Asia-Tropical:, Maluku (Maluku); New Guinea (Irian Jaya); Sulawesi (Sulawesi)
Indonesia: Sulawesi, Moluccas, and W New Guinea.

Widespread on Sulawesi (all provinces), but apparently absent from Sulawesi Selatan south of the Latimojong mountains.

See specimen tab for map of point distribution data of georeferenced specimens.

Notes

  • This name [Begonia aptera] has often been misapplied to B. acetosella, possibly due to Blume stating erroneously in his description that it has 4-locular fruit ("tetragonis"). The rest of Blume's description agrees with the delimitation of B. cristata, and indeed both B. aptera and B. cristata are known only from Sulawesi. The latter is included here in synonymy (M.C. Tebbitt, pers. comm.). Begonia aptera is a coarser plant than the related B. longifolia, distinct in having larger elliptic-oblong leaves and denser inflorescences which surround the main stem. (Hughes, M. An annotated checklist of Southeast Asian Begonia. 2008)
  • Begonia aptera is one of the most widespread Begonia species in eastern Malesia. It is part of the Begonia longifolia Blume (1823: 102) species complex (Tebbitt 2003). Within this complex, several taxa which are morphologically similar to the type of Begonia aptera have been described (Tebbitt 2003, Girmansyah et al. 2009). Material collected all over Sulawesi in the last 10 years shows that there are transitional forms in this morphospace, however, and we have consequently put these names in synonymy. There is considerable morphological variation between populations in Sulawesi with regard to leaf size and shape, leaf margin serration, indumentum density (glabrous to densely hairy), and fruit morphology (fruit wings clearly developed, or only present as small rims, or absent) (Fig. 1). Moreover, Begonia aptera typically has three-locular ovaries and fruits, but individuals with aberrant fruit morphology (two- or four-locular fruits) have been occasionally observed in herbarium material (DCT 09-109 [BO, E]), the field and cultivation. This situation is similar to the considerable morphological variation observed in the closely related and widespread Begonia longifolia (see Hughes & Girmansyah, 2011). This species shows a very wide distribution from continental Southeast Asia to the Lesser Sunda Isles, and it has also been reported from Sulawesi. However, only two collections from Sulawesi have been cited in the literature (Johannsson et al. 76 [K] in Tebbitt [2003]; Hendrian et al. 939 [E, L] in Hughes [2008]), both of which fall in the morphological variability observed in Begonia aptera. Begonia longifolia (material from Malaysia) and B. aptera (material from Sulawesi) were retrieved as sister taxa in molecular phylogenies based on cpDNA data (Thomas et al. 2012), and relaxed molecular clock analyses indicate that the split occurred relatively recently, in a Pleistocene timeframe (ca. 1 Ma, 95% HPD [highest posterior
    density interval]: 0.1–1.2 Ma). The two species are morphologically similar, and have been mainly differentiated by leaf shape and leaf margin characters (typically broadly elliptic and bidentate to -serrate in Begonia aptera; typically lanceolate or occasionally the larger leaves broadly elliptic, margin single toothed to almost entire in B. longifolia; see identification key in Tebbit [2003]). (Ardi, W.H., Chikmawati, T., Witono, J.R. & Thomas, D.C. (2018). A synopsis of Begonia (Begoniaceae) of Southeastern Sulawesi including four new species. Phytotaxa 381.1: 027-050.)

Molecular Systematics

  • Genbank
  • see Thomas et al., 2012 (Thomas, D.C., Hughes, M., Phutthai, T., Ardi, W.H., Rajbhandary, S., Rubite, R., Twyford, A.D. & Richardson, J.E., West to east dispersal and subsequent rapid diversification of the mega-diverse genus Begonia (Begoniaceae) in the Malesian archipelago i...)
  • see Thomas et al., 2011 (Thomas, D.C., Hughes, M., Phutthai, T., Rajbhandary, S., Rubite, R., Ardi, W.H. & Richardson, J.E., A non-coding plastid DNA phylogeny of Asian Begonia(Begoniaceae): Evidence for morphological homoplasy and sectional polyphyly in Molecular Phylogenetic...)
  • see Tebbitt et al., 2006 (Tebbitt, M.C., Lowe-Forrest, L., Santoriello, A., Clement, W. & Swensen, S.M., Phylogenetic Relationships of Asian Begonia, with an Emphasis on the Evolution of Rain-ballist and Animal Dispersal Mechanisms in Sections Platycentrum, Sphenanthera and Lep...)

Specimens

  • SULAWESI: Tondano, Anon. s.n. Herb. Lugd. Bat. 898194-39 (lecto L) – Type of Begonia aptera Blume; E.A. Forsten s.n. (L); vii 1840, E.A. Forsten s.n. (B); unknown s.n. (B); Gorantalo, Olama River, 9 iv 2002, M. Mendum, H.J. Atkins, M. Newman, Hendrian, A. Sofyan 49 (A, E, L); E of Tongoa, 24 ii 1981, Johansson, H. Nybom, S. Riebe 58 (L); Goeroepahi, 27 iii 1917, Kauderns 61 (L); Tongoa (E of), 25 ii 1981, Johansson 76 (K, L); Mt. Sojol, 25 ii 2000, G.C.G. Argent, M. Mendum, Hendrian 151 (E); Gorantalo, Gunung Boliohutu, 23 iv 2002, M. Mendum, H.J. Atkins, M. Newman, Hendrian, A. Sofyan 186 (E); Tomohon, Gunung Masarang, 22 vi 1956, L.L. Forman 207 (K); G. Rantemario, 7 xi 1993, S. Kofman 210 (L); Emrekang District, Rantemario, 5 iii 2000, G.C.G. Argent, M. Mendum, Hendrian 238 (E); Mt. Klabut, 27 vi 1956, L.L. Forman 248 (K, L, P); Minahassa, Tomohon, iv 1894, K.F. & P.B. Sarasin 288 (lecto K) – Type of Begonia cristata Warb. ex L.B. Sm. & Wassh.; Minahassa, Gunung Lokon, 4 vii 1956, L.L. Forman 371 (K, L); Bolaang-Mongondow Distr., Dumoga Bone National Park, 6 i 1996, M. Kato et al. 382 (A); 16 v 1894, K.F. & P.B. Sarasin 488 (B[2]); iv 1894, K.F. & P.B. Sarasin 488 (B[2]); Bukit Dako, Lakatan Distr., Toli-Toli, 25 ii 1985, Ramlanto, Z. Fanani 527 (L); B. Watoewila, 25 iii 1929, G.K. Kjellberg 1032 (BO); Maboesa-Sae, 21 iii 1937, P.J. Eyma 1188 (BO); Pasoei, 9 vi 1929, G.K. Kjellberg 1627 (B); unknown 1721 (L); Todjambor, 23 vi 1929, G.K. Kjellberg 1750 (B); Buntu Area, Kpg Lokkok, 15 ix 2003, J.J. Vermeulen 2300 (L); Tanah Toraja, Rantepoa-Palopo divide, 2 ii 2004, J.J. Vermeulen 2409 (L); Minahassa, Mt. Soputan, 11 x 1973, E.F. de Vogel 2503 (L); G. Potong, 28 ii 2001, P.J.A. Kessler 2951 (L); Palolo, Kamarora, 15 iii 2001, P.J.A. Kessler 3025 (L); Nr. Pangi, 7 iii 1990, J.S. Burley et al. 3717 (K, L); Loewoek distr., G. Loloa – G. Beabis, 27 ix 1938, P.J. Eyma 3839 (L); Menado, G. Ngilalaki, 11 vii 1939, S. Bloembergen 4125 (L); Sopu Valley, 2 v 1979, E.F. de Vogel 5174 (L); Sopu Valley, 24 iii 1979, E. Hennipman 5588 (A, K, L) [as Begonia cf. cristata]; Sopu Valley, 26 v 1979, E. Hennipman 5633 (K, L) [as Begonia cf. cristata]; Bolaang-Mongondow Distr., Dumoga Bone National Park, Gunung Mogogonipa, 6 iv 1985, E.F. de Vogel, J.J. Vermeulen 7020 (L); Palu – Parigi, 17 iv 1975, W. Meijer 9329 (L); Minahassa, Bojong, 1888, O. Warburg 15187 (B[2]); Minahassa, Tomohon, 6 vi 1954, A.H.G. Alston 15679 (A, BM, L); Minahassa, S.H. Koorders 16244B (L); Minahassa, S.H. Koorders 16245B (B, L); Minahassa, S.H. Koorders 16246B (B). (Hughes, M. An annotated checklist of Southeast Asian Begonia. 2008)
  • [Specimens from SE Sulawesi only]
    INDONESIA. Sulawesi: Southeast Sulawesi: Mt. Watoewila, 25 Mar. 1929, G.K. Kjellberg 1032 (BO); Kendari-Kolaka, 23 May 2008, A.R. Kertonegoro ARK 253 (BO); Mt. Sophura, Wutamole District, 12 May 2008 D. Girmansyah Deden 859 (BO, K); Mt. Pondunaah, Wutamole District, 13 May 2008, D. Girmansyah Deden 880 (BO, K); Mt. Lasumowo, Mowewe District, 24 May 2008, D. Girmansyah Deden 1037 (BO, K); Bite forest, Lalingato, Tirawuta Subdistrict, Kolaka, 17 July 2008; A. Hidayat AH 3677 (BO, K); Bite forest, Lalingato, Tirawuta District, Kolaka, 17 July 2008; Arief Hidayat AH 3678 (BO, K); North Kolaka, Rante Angin, Tinukari Village, 7 Aug. 2009. A. Hidayat et al. 4186 (BO); North Kolaka, Rante Angin, Tinukari Village, 10 Aug. 2009. A. Hidayat et al. 4285 (BO); Wawatobi-Lasolo road divide, 12 Feb. 2017, W. H. Ardi WI 151 (BO, KRB, SING); North Kolaka, 17 Mar. 2006, H. Wiriadinata et al. 12976 (BO). North Kolaka, Rante Angin, Tinukari Village, 20 Dec. 2009. E.A. Widjaja & Agus Suyadi EAW 8919 (BO); North Kolaka, Rante Angin, Tinukari Village, 29 June 2010. E.A. Widjaja & Agus Suyadi EAW 9058 (BO); North Kolaka, Rante Angin, Tinukari Village, 20 Dec. 2009. E.A. Widjaja et al. EAW 9721(BO); Mt. Pondunaa, Watuwila, 12 May 2008, A.R. Kartonegoro ARK 231 (BO). (Ardi, W.H., Chikmawati, T., Witono, J.R. & Thomas, D.C. (2018). A synopsis of Begonia (Begoniaceae) of Southeastern Sulawesi including four new species. Phytotaxa 381.1: 027-050.)
  • INDONESIA. Sulawesi: Minahassa, Bojong, 1888, Warburg 15187 (B[2]); Goeroepaki, Kauderns 61 (L); Tomohon, 700 m, 6 Jun 1954, Alston 15679 (BM, L); Lokon, 16 May 1894, Sarason 278 (K); Minahassa, N slope of Mt. Klabat, ca. 500 m, 27 Jun 1956, Forman 248 (K[3]); Utara, 220 km, W of Manado, Burley, Turin et al. 3717 (L); G. Masarang, Tomohon, secondary forest edge of crater lake, ca. 1200 m, 22 Jun 1956, Forman 207 (K[2]); Pasoei-Rante Lemo, 1929, Kjellberg 1627 (B); Todjamboe, 800 m, 23 Jun, Kjellberg 1750 (B); Sopu Valley, ca. 80 km S of Palu 0°30'-1°30'S, 119°30'-120°30'E, 1000 m, 24 May 1979, E. Hennipman 5588 (A); Sopu Valley, ca. 80 km, SSE of Palu, ca. 1°16'S, 120°16'E, 1000 m, 2 May 1979, de Vogel 5174 (L[2]); Selatan, Gunung Rantemario Gowa subcamp, ca. 3°24'S, 120°00'30'E, 11 Jul 1993, 1850 m, Kofman 210 (L[2]). (Tebbitt, M.C., Taxonomy of Begonia longifolia Blume (Begoniaceae) and Related Species in Brittonia 55(1). 2003)