Description: Semisucculent herbs; often epiphytic or lithophytic (growing on rocks).
Leaves opposite or whorled [or more commonly alternate in non-Australian species]; stipules absent.
Inflorescence commonly a terminal or axillary, dense spike. Floral bracts orbicular. Flowers small; stamens 2 with confluent anthers; style and stigma simple and rarely divided (stigma penicillate), a single carpel arises from a single primordium.
Drupes sessile or partly immersed in floral axis.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 1000 species, chiefly tropical regions. Australia: 7 species (several endemic, 1 species naturalised), Qld, N.S.W., ?N.T., W.A.; also 2 native species on Christmas Island.
Sometimes placed in Peperomiaceae. A number of species of Peperomia are cultivated as ornamentals, especially as indoor plants.
Text by G.J. Harden, Fl. NSW Vol. 1 (1990); updated by P.G. Kodela, March 2017
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed March 2017)
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves in whorls of 4; glabrous or almost so; venation obscure||Peperomia tetraphylla|
|Leaves opposite; pubescent; venation usually obvious, 5-veined from base, outer pair of secondary veins sometimes faint||Peperomia blanda|