24. Piper betle Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 28. 1753.
蒌叶 lou ye
Climbers dioecious. Stems rooted at nodes, 2.5-5 mm thick, slightly woody. Petiole 2-5 cm, very finely powdery pubescent; prophylls ca. 1/3 as long as petioles; leaf blade ovate to ovate-oblong, those at apex of stem sometimes elliptic, 7-15 × 5-11 cm, papery to ± leathery, abaxially densely glandular with very finely powdery pubescent veins, adaxially glabrous, base cordate, sometimes rounded in leaf blades toward apex of stem, symmetric or nearly so, apex acuminate; veins 7, apical pair arising 0.7-2 cm above base, usually opposite, others basal; reticulate veins conspicuous. Spikes leaf-opposed. Male spikes nearly as long as leaf blades at anthesis; peduncle nearly as long as petioles; rachis pubescent; bracts orbicular or suborbicular, rarely obovate, 1-1.3 mm wide, peltate, ± sessile. Stamens 2; filaments thick, ca. as long as anthers or longer; anthers reniform. Female spikes 3-5 × ca. 1 cm, longer in fruit; rachis fleshy, densely pubescent. Ovary partly immersed in and connate to rachis, apex tomentose; stigmas usually 4 or 5, lanceolate, tomentose. Drupes fused to form terete, fleshy, reddish, compound fruit, apices tomentose, prominent. Fl. May-Jul.
Cultivated. SE to SW China [India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam; Africa (Madagascar)]
Widely cultivated, of uncertain origin, and used for medicinal, spice, and aromatic purposes.