39 - BEGÔNIA DO BREJO
Begonia cucullata Willd. (BEGONIACEAE)
39- Begonia-do-brejo - Begonia cucullata Willd. (BEGONIACEAE)
Terrestrial herb, succulent aspect, up to 1 m high, without hairiness, erect stem. Leaves with persistent stipules, oval, 5 to 6 cm long and up to 5.5 cm wide, with 7 to 8 ribs, green on the upper surface and red on the underside. Generally pink flower with male and female flowers. The fruit is a capsule, with distinct wings.
The seeds of this plant are born in the land that comes with collecting other plants. Very common, I have seen it in the Atlantic forest, in humid fields and swamps, but also in the middle of savanna fields. From my garden, where some settled, they started to spread around the neighborhood, being born in cracks in the sidewalk. This first dispersion in less than a year reached about 15 meters, now I am going to accompany this new generation to see if the area expands and thereby know the speed with which it could spread throughout the city.
I keep imagining the city overrun by begonias-do-marsh and maybe start throwing seeds around.
Distribution: It has a wide distribution throughout South America and prefers humid places such as Várzea and Matas de Galeria fields.
Situation in São Paulo: Common, sometimes used as ornamental, spontaneous in humid and shady locations.
How to plant: Bury the seeds and water well, likes moisture and organic matter.
Uses: Used as an ornamental, in addition to having edible leaves and flowers with a very acid flavor. Due to its great speed of growth, it is a plant to be planted even in pots, pending when very long. Ideal for cultivation in shaded beds or pots on windows. Jelly can be made from leaves and flowers, or used in an unconventional vinaigrette.
DURIGAN, G. PLANTS OF THE CERRADO PAULISTA: IMAGES OF A THREATENED LANDSCAPE. PÁGINAS & LETRAS EDITORA E GRÁFICA, 2004.
WANDERLEY, MGL; MARTINS, SE (COORDS.) BROMELIACEAE IN: MELHEN, TS ET AL. FANEROGAMIC FLORA OF THE STATE OF SÃO PAULO. INSTITUTE OF BOTANICS, SÃO PAULO, VOL. 5, PP: 39-162, 2007.