Begonia is a genus in the flowering plant family Begoniaceae and is a perennial. The only other members of the family Begoniaceae are Hillebrandia, a genus with a single species in the Hawaiian Islands, and the genus Symbegonia which more recently was included in Begonia. 'Begonia' is the common name as well as the generic name for all members of the genus. The genus name, coined by Charles Plumier, a French patron of botany, honors Michel Bgon, a former governor of the French colony of Haiti. It was adopted by Carl Linnaeus. As a member of the order Curcurbitales, begonias are relatively closely related to such food crops as pumpkins / squash, gourds, cucumbers, and melons. With around 1,500 species, Begonia is the sixth largest angiosperm genus. The species are terrestrial (sometimes epiphytic) herbs or undershrubs and occur in subtropical and tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa and southern Asia.
Contributions by Daemonic Kangaroo, MrDarwin, and Mgoodyear.