1.2. Subfamily Piperoideae Arnott (2 genera) + Overview The Piperoideae is the largest of these sub-families by far. In fact Peperomia and Piper represent two of the most numerous genera within all of the flowering plants. There are over two thousand Piper species and between sixteen and eighteen hundred Peperomia species. In contrast, the other three genera only have about ten species all together. + Genera 1- Peperomia Ruiz & Pavon 1794 (about 1600 species) 2- Piper Linnaeus 1753 (about 2000 species)
2- Genera of the Subfamily Piperoideae
2.1- Genus Piperomia Ruiz & Pavon + Overview Peperomia (radiator plant) is one of the 2 large genera of the Piperaceaefamily. Most of them are compact, small perennialepiphytes growing on rotten wood. + Description Though varying considerably in appearance (see gallery below), these species generally have thick, stout stems and fleshy leaves, sometimes with leaf windows. Peperomia flowers typically come in yellow to brown conical spikes. These tropical perennials are grown for their ornamental foliage.They are mostly natives of tropical America. They are compact and usually do not exceed 12 inches (30 cm) in height. They vary considerably in appearance. Some have threadlike, trailing stems and some have fleshy, stout stems. The leaves are smooth and fleshy and may be oval with the leafstalk at or near the center of the leaf blade, or they may be heart-shaped or lance-shaped; their size may vary from 2.5-10.2 cm (1-4 inches) long. They may be green or striped, marbled or bordered with pale green, red or gray, and the petioles of some kinds are red. The tiny flowers are unnoticeable and they grow in the form of cordlike spikes. + Taxonomy More than 1500species have been recorded, occurring in all tropical and subtropical regions of the world, though concentrated in Central America and northern South America. A limited number of species (around 17) are found in Africa.
1.2- Genus Piper L. + Overview Piper, the pepper plants or pepper vines (a term used for certain Clematis in older times), are an economically and ecologically important genus in the familyPiperaceae. It contains about 1,000-2,000species of shrubs, herbs, and lianas, many of which are dominant species in their native habitat. The diversification of this taxon is of interest to understanding the evolution of plants. Pepper plants belong to the magnoliids, which are angiosperms but neither monocots nor eudicots. Their family, Piperaceae, is most closely related to the lizardtail family (Saururaceae), which in fact generally look like smaller, more delicate and amphibious pepper plants. Both families have characteristic tail-shaped inflorescences covered in tiny flowers. A somewhat less close relative is the pipevine family (Aristolochiaceae). A well-known and very close relative - being also part of the Piperaceae - are the radiator plants of the genus Peperomia. The scientific namePiper and the common name "pepper" are derived from the Sanskrit term pippali, denoting the Long pepper (P. longum). + Taxonomy - Selected species The largest number of Piper species are found in the Americas (about 700 species), with about 300 species from Southern Asia. There are smaller groups of species from the South Pacific (about 40 species) and Africa (about 15 species). The American, Asian, and South Pacific groups each appear to be monophyletic; the affinity of the African species is unclear. Some species are sometimes segregated into the genera Pothomorphe, Macropiper, Ottonia, Arctottonia, Sarcorhachis, Trianaeopiper, and Zippelia, but other sources keep them in Piper.