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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 4 | Piperaceae

3. Peperomia Ruiz & Pavon, Fl. Peruv. Prodr. 8: 8. 1794.

草胡椒属 cao hu jiao shu

Herbs annual or, usually perennial, (Chinese species) rooting from nodes toward base of stem and with erect or ascending flowering shoots. Stems usually dwarf, fleshy; vascular bundles free, scattered. Prophylls absent. Leaves alternate, opposite, or whorled, main lateral veins all basal; reticulate veins inconspicuous. Flowers bisexual, very small, often within depressions in rachis, sessile. Inflorescence a spike, usually erect, terminal or axillary, rarely leaf-opposed, solitary, paired, or clustered; rachis as thick or slightly thicker than peduncle; bracts ± orbicular, peltate (sometimes oblong and/or not peltate). Stamens 2; filaments short, thecae ± globose, ellipsoid, or cylindric. Ovary 1-loculed; ovule 1; stigma 1, rarely 2-cleft, globose, apex obtuse or acute, beaked or brushlike, lateral or terminal. Fruit a very small, sticky nutlet, often partly enclosed in pit in rachis, sometimes distinctly curved.

About 1000 species: widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions; seven species (two endemic, one introduced) in China, mostly growing on trees or moss-covered rocks.

1 Leaves alternate, base of blade cordate; erect or ascending; annuals   7 Peperomia pellucida
+ Leaves opposite or in whorls of 3-5, base of blade cuneate to rounded; stoloniferous perennials.   (2)
2 (1) Rachis of inflorescence densely pubescent; dried stems deeply sulcate; leaves usually thick and wrinkled when dried   1 Peperomia tetraphylla
+ Rachis of inflorescence glabrous; dried stems flat or irregularly wrinkled; leaves thin and flat when dried.   (3)
3 (2) Leaf apex deeply notched; plants completely glabrous   6 Peperomia nakaharai
+ Leaf apex mostly rounded, rarely shallowly emarginate; stems hairy.   (4)
4 (3) Leaves persistently uniformly pubescent to shortly hispid on both surfaces.   (5)
+ Leaves glabrous or rapidly glabrescent, or ciliolate only at apex and margin.   (6)
5 (4) Leaves 1(-3)-veined; petiole 1.5-3 mm   2 Peperomia cavaleriei
+ Leaves 3-5-veined; petiole 5-18 mm   3 Peperomia blanda
6 (4) Leaves elliptic to oblanceolate, 1(-3)-veined; spikes 1 per flowering shoot, rarely more, less than 2 cm; fruit ellipsoid, curved   4 Peperomia heyneana
+ Leaves obovate, 3-veined; spikes several per flowering stem, 2-4.5 cm; fruit broadly ovoid, straight   5 Peperomia rubrivenosa

Lower Taxa


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