Begonia ignita C.W.Lin & C.I Peng in Gard. Bull. Singapore 69(1): 88. 2017

Primary tabs

Begonia Section

  • Petermannia



  • Plant perennial, monoecious. Stem procumbent and rooting at nodes, ascending at the apex, olive to magenta, 8–20 cm long, 4–6 mm across, glabrous, internodes 0.5–5 cm long; stipules widely ovate-triangular, 8–12 mm long, c. 6 mm wide, hyaline, reddish, strongly keeled, margin entire, apex aristate, arista c. 2.5–4 mm long. Leaves 5–10, held horizontally; petiole terete, 3.5–8 cm long, 3.5–6 mm across, olive-red to crimson, sub-appressed sparsely velutinous, slightly grooved adaxially; lamina cordiform to widely cordiform, basifixed, symmetric or subsymmetric, cordate at base, margin slightly undulate and distantly denticulate, glabrous, apex acuminate, 7–12 cm long, 6.5–11 cm wide, basal lobes equal or subequal, to 2.5 cm long, thickly chartaceous, adaxially dark olive-green to dark maroon, embellished with a silvery green band (sometimes with irregular spots of variable sizes between veins) running parallel to the margin, veins red towards base; slightly rugose between primary veins; abaxially pale red to magenta; venation palmate-pinnate, midrib conspicuous, 6–9.5 cm long with c. 3 pairs of major lateral veins, each branching dichotomously. Inflorescence terminal, bisexual, protogynous, cymose-paniculate, 13–22 cm long; bracts magenta to pale rosy-brown, hyaline, persistent, widely ovate, (4–)8–12 mm long, (2–)4–7 mm wide, decreasing in size towards the more distal inflorescence nodes, aristate at apex, arista 3–4 mm long, margin entire; pistillate flowers produced on up to 3 subsequent basal nodes of the inflorescence, usually solitary or sometimes together with 1 staminate flower; staminate flowers usually only produced in distal inflorescence part, up to 15, in several (1–)2–3-flowered compressed monochasial partial inflorescences borne on short lateral branches (0.1–2 cm), at the most distal nodes sometimes reduced to a single flower, erect or ascending, reddish to crimson, glabrous. Staminate flower: pedicel 11–18 mm long, glabrous; tepals 2, orange or pale tangerine to vermilion, glabrous, widely ovate to suborbicular, margin entire, base rounded, 10–15 mm long, 9–11 mm wide; androecium subzygomorphic, stamens 35–45, yellow, filaments shortly fused at base; anthers c. 0.8 mm long, oblongoid, subequal in length to filaments. Pistillate flower: pedicel 6–13 mm long, glabrous; tepals 4 (rarely 2, 3 or 5), pale orange to vermilion, ovate or obovate to oblanceolate, 9–15 mm long, 4–10 mm wide, glabrous; ovary reddish, body trigonous-ellipsoid, 9–11 mm long, c. 7 mm across, 3-winged; wings cuneate or rounded at base, truncate or rounded at the apex, 12–15 mm long, 2–4 mm wide, locules 3, placentae axile, bilamellate; styles 3, yellow, bifid, c. 4 mm long; stigmas in a spiral band and papillose all around. Fruits not seen. (C.-W. Lin, Thomas, D.C., Ardi, W.H. & al., Begonia ignita (sect. Petermannia, Begoniaceae), a new species with orange flowers from Sulawesi, Indonesia in Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 69(1): 87-93. 2017)


Asia-Tropical:, Sulawesi (Sulawesiendemic)


  • Begonia ignita has entered into cultivation and is grown by various amateur enthusiasts and Begonia collectors inside and outside of Indonesia. The origin of these cultivated plants remains obscure. Enquiries about the species’ origin with several growers indicated that most acquired the plants from material cultivated by other growers. This is also the case for the plants cultivated at Bogor Botanic Gardens on which the description is based. Some growers indicated that a market in Sulawesi was the likely original source of the plants, but they could not provide any additional information on the location of this market (province, city etc.). Phylogenetic reconstructions using chloroplast DNA sequence data of Begonia ignita (ndhA intron, ndhF–rpl32 spacer, rpl32–trnL spacer, unpublished data, D. Thomas) integrated with previously published data of other Asian taxa (Thomas et al., 2012; Moonlight et al., 2015), including accessions of about 74% of the currently accepted species from Sulawesi, corroborate a putative Sulawesi origin. Begonia ignita is retrieved in a wellsupported clade of Sulawesi endemics in Begonia section Petermannia. It is sister to a well-supported clade including two subclades: a subclade of endemic species distributed on the northern arm of Sulawesi, and a subclade of species endemic to eastern Central Sulawesi. Begonia ignita is one of the most distinct and most beautiful Indonesian species in cultivation. Its colourful cordiform leaves adorned with a silvery green band or maculation running inside the margin, and the showy flammate flowers immediately make it a very attractive species. It is distinct from all other Sulawesi begonias by the symmetric or subsymmetric cordiform leaves and in being the only known orangeflowered Begonia on the island. The new species resembles the Sulawesi endemic Begonia mendumiae M.Hughes (sect. Petermannia) in the creeping habit, and the band or maculation of the leaves but can be easily differentiated from B. mendumiae by the characters shown in Table 1. (C.-W. Lin, Thomas, D.C., Ardi, W.H. & al., Begonia ignita (sect. Petermannia, Begoniaceae), a new species with orange flowers from Sulawesi, Indonesia in Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 69(1): 87-93. 2017)