A hothouse flower

Do plants need a hothouse in India? Sure, I’ve seen strawberries been grown inside rows of plastic tents, but that must be to conserve water, I thought. But then in Darjeeling’s botanical garden, in December, I saw plants flowering. Unfortunately this interesting flower was unlabelled, an unusual thing in a botanical garden. Perhaps it is so common that everyone in the world except me knows what it is called.

Not having a clue, I’ll have to depend on you to supply possibilities. This was a potted plant, less than waist high. I liked the appearance of the leaves: leathery, with a reddish brown underside and as hairy as the flower.

Note added: Thanks to two readers, Sujata and Bama, I began to look at the genus Begonia. Although I don’t have a photo of the flowers spread out to look at their inner structure, in order to strengthen the genus identification, their suggestion does look viable. Moreover, there are multiple species of Begonia native to the eastern Himalayas which are very hairy. Some of these would find their way into a collection in Darjeeling’s botanical garden.