Gardeners’ Chronicle, 15: 8 (Jan 1, 1881)
BEGONIA SOCOTRANA, Hook. fil., sp. n.*

A very pretty species, of which tubers were brought by Dr. I. B. Balfour from the dry and hot island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Arabia, one of the last places in the world in which a Begonia could have been expected to occur. From the geographical position of that island the affinity of this discovery may be conjectured to be either Asiatic or African, and upon the whole, though referable to none of the sixty sections of the genus, founded by Klotzsch and A. de Candolle, it must, I think, be placed in the African one of Augustia, from the characters of which it differs chiefly in the male perianth having four segments, in the shorter filaments, rounded top of the anther, in the six lobes of the female perianth instead of five, and the untwisted arms of the style—characters which, except the last, occur in the Natal B. geranioides, Hook. f. (Bot. Mag., t. 5583), to which B. socotrana is unquestionably closely allied. This is only one of the many most interesting plants brought by Dr. I. B. Balfour from an island which he alone has had the good fortune to explore, and the publication of the results of which exploration are awaited with impatience by botanists no less than horticulturists. A coloured plate of the Begonia will shortly be published in the Botanical Magazine. The Royal gardens are indebted to Dr. I. B. Balfour for tubers which he liberally presented to that institution in April, and which flowered is December. J. D. Hooker.

*Begonia socotrana, Hook. fil.—Sparsely hairy, erect leaves orbicular peltate crenate, disk intruded, funnel-shaped, margins recurved flowers monoecious, rose- pink, males numerous, perianth.lobes 4, obovate: stamens in a globose cluster, filaments short, free, anthers clavate, recurved, tip rounded, dehiscence dorsal,—female flower solitary; perianth segments 6 elliptic-obovate: styles short, arms spreading and incurved not twisted stigmas cordate, connected by a papillose band svan, 3-angled, 3-celled, dorsal cell moderately winged, placentas entire.

Begonia list


Wiener illustrirte Garten-Zeitung (1887)


Journal of the New York Botanical Garden 40: 201-207 (1939)
Begonia socotrana—Its Progeny and their Culture
James G. Esson


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