Begonia echinata Royle
Begonia obversa C.B.Clarke
Begonia picta is a perennial plant growing up to 38cm tall from a globose tuber around 5 - 8mm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine, food and mordant. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens and as a pot plant.
E. Asia - southwest China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar
Shady banks and rock ledges in wetter areas; at elevations to 2,800 metres[
]. Forest margins, on rocks in shaded moist environments by streams and slopes; at elevations from 2,200 - 2,900 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Begonia picta is found mainly in the Himalayas at elevations up to 2,900 metres, though some reports say that plants are sometimes found at much higher elevations[
]. It is not very hardy in most of the temperate zone, though can be grown outdoors in mild winter areas, whilst provenances obtained from higher elevations could be hardier.
Requires a well-drained soil[
]. Plants do not require high light intensities[
]. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7[
Leaves - raw or cooked. An acid flavour[
]. The sour tasting leaf stalks and stems are pickled[
The juice of the plant is drunk to relieve headaches[
The crushed leaves are used as a poultice on sore nipples[
The root juice is used as an eyewash to treat conjunctivitis[
]. It is also consumed in the treatment of peptic ulcers[
The juice of the plant is used as a mordant to fix the colours of vegetable dyes[
Seed - surface sow in a greenhouse and keep the compost moist in a light position. The seed can be very slow to germinate, sometimes taking a year or more[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Basal cuttings from tubers in spring.