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The Nursery

 

 Begonia picta

From mid summer till early autumn Begonia picta is found flowering in the Darjeeling Himalayas. A botanical variant of the species has beautifully marked leaves. It usually inhabits shaded forest areas and grows from crevices on rocks and mud banks.  Where motorable road have been built it has colonised the steep mud slopes cut into the hillsides.

In the local Nepali language it is known as makkar-kajay. The stems  and peduncles are succulent and sour and villagers prepare a tongue tingling sour chutney out of these parts of the plant. In winter the leaves and stems die down and the small tubers remain dormant, coming up again in late spring.

 

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