𝐁𝐡𝐮𝐭𝐚𝐧 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐧𝐞𝐰 Begonia 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐬

The Begonia species, new to the world is discovered after thorough investigation of herbarium specimens collected in 2020 and living plant observed at Menchuna, Toebpisa Gewog under Punakha Dzongkhag by Phub Gyeltshen and his team. They also documented Begonia picta, Begonia rex, Begonia roxburghii and Begonia xanthina as new records to Bhutan.

The new species is named as Begonia menchunaensis which is derived from the type locality Menchuna under Toebpisa Gewog in Punakha Dzongkhag. It is currently known only from Punakha District and its like to discover from other districts of the country having similar habitats. It has white flowers and grows in the shady and partially open areas of cool broadleaved forest at around 2200 m elevation.

The genus Begonia is represented by 22 species in Bhutan, and the country is likely to harbour over 30 species of Begonia as many parts of the country are still under surveyed. The discovery of such species is a clear indication that the country is rich in biodiversity and needs further exploration to have precise numbers of wild flora in the country.

As per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categories and criteria, the species is Critically Endangered in the country.