The family Begoniaceae contains three genera, Begonia, Hillebrandia, and Symbegonia. Genus Begonia is pantropical and comprises roughly 1400 species divided among 63 sections. Symbegonia contains 12 species endemic to New Guinea and Hillebrandia is represented by a single species endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago. Relationships among these genera, as well as the sections of Begonia, are not well understood and little information pertaining to the phylogeographic history of the family exists. As the distribution of the sections of Begonia and the segregate genera coincide to a large degree with continental boundaries, determination of their relationships is likely to reveal the phylogeographic history of the family. This colloquium brings together several researchers from North America and Europe who have recently made significant progress in reconstructing the phylogeny of Begoniaceae using both morphology and DNA sequence data. The aim of the colloquium is to provide an overview of the advances in our understanding of Begoniaceae evolution and to foster additional collaboration among researchers working on this large family. The initial presentations are designed to be general and introductory in scope. The succeeding talks are more focused and will consider phylogeny of specific continental groups of Begonia, gene flow and speciation in Begonia, phylogeny of Hillebrandia and Symbegonia, and the systematic and biogeographic implications of these data. The talks will consider morphological changes in the family and how these changes can be interpreted in the context of molecular-based phylogenies. The colloquium will provide the forum to more fully present the recent advances and will allow better conceptualization of the large amount of information that has been generated.

Key words: Begoniaceae, biogeography, evolution, phylogeny, systematics