Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 October 2021 | 13(12): 19849–19854


ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print)

#6856 | Received 03 November 2020 | Finally accepted 05 October 2021



New distribution records of Begonia L., B. murina Craib and B. poilanei Kiew (Begoniaceae: Cucurbitales) for Laos


Phongphayboun Phonepaseuth 1, Phetlasy Souladeth 2, Soulivanh Lanorsavanh 3, Shuichiro Tagane4 , Thyraphon Vongthavone 5  & Keooudone Souvannakhoummane 6


1 Faculty of Environmental Sciences, National University of Laos, Dongdok Campus, Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital, Laos.

2 Faculty of Forestry Science, National University of Laos, Dongdok Campus, Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital, Laos.

3,6 Faculty of Natural Science, National University of Laos, Dongdok Campus, Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital, Laos.

4 The Kagoshima University Museum, Kagoshima University, 1-21-30 Korimoto, Kagoshima, 890-0065, Japan.

5 Association for Community Development (ACD), Salavan Province, Laos.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

6 (corresponding author)




Editor: Anonymity requested.   Date of publication: 26 October 2021 (online & print)


Citation: Phonepaseuth, P., P. Souladeth, S. Lanorsavanh, S. Tagane, T. Vongthavone & K. Souvannakhoummane (2021). New distribution records of Begonia L., B. murina Craib and B. poilanei Kiew (Begoniaceae: Cucurbitales) for Laos. Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(12): 19849–19854.


Copyright: © Phonepaseuth et al. 2021. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding:  Botanical survey in Bolaven supported by Nagao Natural Environment Foundation. Botanical survey in central Laos by

Sud Expert Plantes Développement Durable programme (AAP3-96)


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Sackda Phasavaeng, Visala Chounlamany, and Sisavath Chansavang for guiding the first author to Khammouan Province. The authors are grateful to the managers and staff of Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area for their permission to collect specimens in Bolaven Plateau. Thanks to Mark Hughes, Che-Wei Lin, and Thamarat Phutthai for their comments in species identification. We would also like to thank the curators of the herbaria FOF and HNL for their specimens accessible. Thank to Nagao Natural Environment Foundation, Japan for finance support field work in Bolaven plateau and thank you to the Sud Expert Plantes Développement Durable program (project AAP3-96) for supporting field trip in Central Laos.




Abstract: Begonia murina Craib from central and B. poilanei Kiew from southern of Laos, are newly recorded in Laos. Based on Lao materials, detailed description, photographs, and notes on habitat, ecology, & taxonomic discussion of these two species compared with the Chinese, Thai, & Vietnamese types are provided.


Keyword: Bolaven plateau, description, flora of Laos, limestone karst, new record, taxonomic discussion.



Begonia L. (Begoniaceae) is one of the largest genera of angiosperms, comprising 1,989 accepted species (Hughes et al. 2015–). In Laos, 28 species have been recorded, nine of which are endemic (Ding et al. 2020; Lanorsavanh et al. 2020; Souvannakhoummane et al. 2020). The limestone karst in Laos is interesting for plant diversity, and several new species of Begonia were described, including B. cladotricha M. Hughes (Hughes 2007); B. viscosa Aver. & H.Q. Nguyen (Averyanov & Nguyen 2012); B. khammouanensis Souvann. & Lamxay; B. hinnamnoensis Souvann. & Lanors. (Souvannakhoummane et al. 2018); B. tatianae Aver; B. quadripetiolata Aver. & H.Q. Nguyen (Averyanov et al. 2019).

During our field surveys in Khammouan and Bolikhamxay provinces, central Laos in June–August 2019 & July–August 2020, and Champasak province, southern Laos in September 2020, we found two species of Begonia that morphologically placed in sect. Diploclinium (Lindl.) A.DC. after carefully checking relevant literature and comparing with herbarium specimens: FOF, HNL and KAG, as well as online specimen data and images of type available at Begonia Resource Centre (Hughes et al. 2015–). The first species was identified as Begonia murina Craib, which can be recognized by small globose tuber and glandular hairs indumentum in all parts, red striation on ovary and fruit, these features had been known only in Thailand (Phutthai et al. 2019). The second species is B. poilanei Kiew which is characterized by elongated cylindric tuber and known from southern Vietnam and China (Kiew 2007; Tian 2014; Peng et al. 2014). We here report these two taxa as new to the flora of Laos, along with their description based on Lao materials, photographs, distribution map. Consequently, the diversity of Begonia in Laos is increased to 30 species. The descriptions were made based on the living plants, alcohol preserved and herbarium specimens. The terminology follows Phutthai et al. (2019).


Begonia murina Craib

(Figure 1, Image 1)

in Gard. Chron. ser. 3, 83: 66. 1928; Hughes & Peng, 300 Spec. Port. Asian Begonia: 216. 2018; Phutthai et al., Fl. Thailand 14(3): 401. 2019.

Monoecious rhizomatous lithophytic herb, up to 15 cm tall. Rhizome tuber, small globose, smooth, light red to reddish brown, 3–5 mm in diameter, with many additional fibrous roots. Stemless or very short to 1 cm long, reddish, pilose. Leaves 3–5 per plant; petiole 5–9 cm long, 2–3 mm in diam., reddish, puberulous; blade asymmetric, ovate to lanceolate, 5–6 × 8–9 cm, apex acute, base cordate, margin dentate, covered with sparse short hairs, veins 4–5 per side, puberulous on both sides, adaxial surface green, abaxial surface paler. Inflorescence axillary near terminal cyme; peduncle erect, 6−10 cm long, puberulent, branched 2 times, with 2–4 male flowers and 1–2 female flowers per branch; bracts narrowly lanceolate, ca. 7 × 3 mm, membranous, reddish, slightly glandular hairy, margin fringed by glandular hairs. Staminate flower: pedicel 1.5−2.5 cm long, covered with glandular hairs, tepals 4, white, unequal, outer 2, broadly ovate, 10−12 × 14−15 mm, glandular hairy on the outer surface, margin entire covered with glandular hairs, inner 2, much smaller, elliptic to oblanceolate, white, 5−8 × 1.5−2 mm, glabrous inside, puberulous outside, margin entire, ciliate with glandular hairs; stamens bright yellow, 40−56, anther obovate, ca. 2 mm long. Pistillate flower: pedicel 1−1.2 cm long, glandular hairy, tepals 2 or 3, white, equal, outer 2, broadly ovate, 6−10 × 10−12 mm, covered with glandular hairs on the outer surface; inner 1 narrowly elliptic, ca. 6 × 2 mm. Ovary 3-locular, pale green with red striations, placentae axial, placentae 2 per locule, styles 3, stigmas bifid with twisted bands, golden yellow. Capsule green with reddish line reticulate, brown when dry, with 3 subequal wings, abaxial wing 7−8 mm long, lateral wings shorter, 6−7 mm long. Seeds numerous, ellipsoid, ca. 0.3 mm long, light brown.

Distribution: Laos (Bolikhamxay, Khammouan), Thailand.

Ecology and Phenology: In Laos, this species was found on wet rock with mosses near streams in dry evergreen forest at elevation 1,034 m (Bolikhamxay Province) and on shade cliffs of limestone karst, associated with Paraboea sp. (Gesneriaceae), Amorphophalus sp. (Araceae) and some species of limestone ferns at elevation ca. 210 m (Khammouan Province). Flowering from August to September and fruiting from August to September.

Specimens examined: SL 1708 (FOF!, HNL!, Biology Herbarium of National University of Laos!), 28.vii.2020, in dry evergreen forest, Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, Thaphabath district, Bolikhamxay province, Laos, 18.496N, 103.313E, 1,034 m elevation, coll. Lanorsavanh S., Souvannakhoummane K. & Khane; P002 (FOF!), 30.vii.2020, Pha Kataiy, Limestone Hill, Gnommarath District, Khammouan Province, Laos, 17.552N, 105.164E, 210 m elevation, coll. Phonepaseuth P.; 884, 26.ix.2020, ibid., coll. Souladeth P., Insisiengmai O., Sengthong A., Phengmala K., Phanpadith P.

Type: 113 (holo ABD digital image!, iso ABD digital image!), 11.xi.1927, Cult. Hort. Bot. Aberb., Thailand, coll. Kerr A.F.G.

Vernacular: ສົ້ມກຸ້ງຂົນ [(Somkoung Khon) meaning hairy begonia]

 Note: Begonia murina Craib was originally described based on the plants collected from Kanchanaburi provinces, Thailand by Craib (1928), and formerly believed to be endemic to Thailand, being found in Sukhothai and Kanchanaburi (Phutthai et al. 2019). In Laos, it is known from Bolikhamxay and Khammouan provinces between 210–1,034 m elevations. Though Lao plants shows slight differences in leaf shape (oblique-cordiform vs. usually reniform) and colour of veins (usually green vs. reddish green), we consider these are included within the infraspecific variation of this species.


Begonia poilanei Kiew

(Figure 1, Image 2)

Adansonia 29(2): 235. (-238; fig. 2). 2007. Begonia intermedia D.K.Tian & Y.H.Yan, Phytotaxa 166(2): 116 (2014), nom. Illeg.; Tian, Phytotaxa 172(1): 59. 2014. Begonia wuzhishanensis C.-I Peng, X.H. Jin & S.M. Ku, Bot. Stud. (Taipei) 55-24:: 3. 2014; Tian, Phytotaxa 172(1): 59. 2014.

Monoecious rhizomatous lithophytic herb, 5-–15 cm tall. Rhizome tuber, cylindrical, smooth, light brown, 2–4 cm long, 5–8 mm in diameter. Stem short, 0.5–3 cm long, reddish green, pilose; branched from lower nodes. Stipule narrowly triangular, ca. 5 mm long, covered with white hairs. Leaves 2(–5) per plant; petiole 5–6(–10) cm long, 2–3 mm in diameter, reddish green, puberulous; blade obliquely cordate, 6–7 × 7–9 cm, apex acute-lanceolate or aristate, tip 1–1.5 cm long, base cordate, margin serrate with ciliate, puberulous on both sides, adaxial surface green, except venation which is dark green and impressed, leaf abaxial surface paler, and reddish-green or red in veins, veins 3–4 pair per side, prominent on abaxial side. Inflorescence axillary and terminal cyme; peduncle erect, 6−15 cm long, 2–3 mm in diameter, covered with short hairs, usually with 2 branches, with female flower more than male flowers per branch, floral bracts hirsute, ovate, 4–6 × ca. 3 mm, membranous, reddish-green. Staminate flower: pedicel red to pinkish-red, 1−1.8 cm long, ca. 1 mm in diameter, pubescent; tepals 4, pink or bright pink, outer 2 larger, broadly ovate, 7−8 × 9−10 mm, with 9 distinct radial stripes on adaxial surface with glandular hairy on the outer surface especially on margin entire, inner 2, much smaller, elliptic to oblanceolate, lighter in color, 5−8 × 2−3 mm, stamens bright yellow, 28−36, anther obovate, ca. 2 mm long. Pistillate flower: pedicel pink or pinkish red, 1−1.2 cm long, globous, tepals 3, pink, unequal, outer 2, broadly ovate, 7−8 × 8−10 mm, with 9 distinct radial stripes on adaxial surface, covered with glandular hairs on the midrib of outer surface, inner 1, elliptic, ca. 1.5 × 3 mm, ovary 3-locular, pinkish green, shiny, placentae axial, placentae 2 per locule, styles 3, stigmas bifid, golden yellow. Capsule unequally 3-winged, abaxial wing oblong, 7−8 mm long, lateral wings shorter, 4−5 mm long. Seeds not seen.

Distribution: China, Laos (Bolaven Plateau), Vietnam.

Ecology and Phenology: In Laos, this species is known only from on top of the Bolaven Plateau, Paksong District, Champasak Province at 1,270 m elevation. Flowering and fruiting in September.

Specimens examined: L3949 (BKF, FOF!, KAG), 17.ix.2020, 15.060N, 106.208E,  1,277 m elevation, Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area,  Bolaven Plateau, Paksong District, Champasak Province, Laos, coll. Souladeth P., Phonepaseuth P., Souvannakhoummane K., & Vongthavone T.

Type: 19824 (holo P [P00539147], digital image!, iso [P00539160, P00539161], digital image!), 21.x.1931, Djijuih Haut Donai District, Vietnam, Poilane E.; TDK710, holo CSH n.v, iso CSH n.v., 28.ix.2012, Yinggeling National Natural Reserve, Qiongzhong, Hainan, China, 19.020N, 109.573E; 2,093 m, holo HAST n.v., iso PE n.v., 3.xii.2013, on wet, mossy rocky slope by a stream in forest, Nanyi village, Fanyang township, Wuzhishan city, Hainan province, China, 18.881N, 109.342E, elevation ca. 180 m, coll. Shin-Ming Ku & Xiao-Hua Jin.

Vernacular: ສົ້ມກຸ້ງກຳມະຈອນ (Somkoung Kammajon [meaning blood veins])

Note: Begonia poilanei Kiew was first descripted from Vietnam, Haut Donai District, Djijuih (Dalat) by Kiew in 2007, and named in honor of E. Poilane, who first discovered and collected this species in 1931. Formerly this species was stated as endemic to Vietnam. Peng et al. (2014) described Begonia wuzhishanensis C.-I Peng, X.H. Jin & S.M. Ku from Wuzhishan City, Hainan Province, China, and Tian et al. (2014) also described B. intermedia D.K. Tian & Y.H. Yan, from another city in Hainan Province in the same year, but both of them are now treated as a synonym of Begonia poilanei Kiew in Nomenclature of Begonia (Hughes et al. 2015–). In Laos, thus far  this species is known only in one locality on the top plateau of  Bolaven Plateau in Champasak Province. Lao plants have minor different from Vietnamese type specimen in its leaf apex: tip aristate (vs. acute).



For figure & images - - click here





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