begonia (bĭgōnˈyə) [key], any plant of the large genus Begonia and common name for the family Begoniaceae, mostly succulent perennial herbs of the American tropics cultivated elsewhere as bedding or pot plants and easily propagated by stem and leaf cuttings as well as by seed. Some kinds are grown as house plants for their showy, variously colored leaves—rex begonias—and some for their white, pink, red, or yellow flowers, sometimes double. There are a large number of hybrids. Begonias are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Violales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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