Peperomia rotundifolia

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Peperomia rotundifolia

Description

Epiphytic or epilithic herb, prostrate with ascending stem tips rooting at nodes. Stem crisp-pubescent when young, internodes 0.3-2 cm long, green often with red spots. Leaves alternate, basely attached, sometimes subpeltate, fertile branches often with distally progressively smaller leaves; petiole up to 1 cm long, pubescent to glabrous; blades fleshy or fleshy coriaceous, broadly elliptic to elliptic or almost orbicular, (0.5-)1-1.2 x (0.5-)1-1.2 cm, margin ciliate, apex rounded, base rounded, glabrous to puberulent; obsolete palmately 3-veined. Inflorescence terminal, solitary; peduncle not nodose, without bract, up to 1 cm long, pubescent or glabrous; spike 2-6 cm long, yellow to red, moderately to densely flowered; floral bracts rounded, glabrous, glandular. Fruits (sub)basely attached, globose to ovoid, brown, reticulately verruculose, apex oblique with subapical stigma.

Distribution

Pantropical: present
Throughout the range of the genus; ca. 135 collections studied (GU: 51; SU: 43; FG: 41).Pantropical

Common Name

Creole (Guyana, Republic of): follow me; English (French Guiana): wilapili; English (Suriname, Republic of): ditibi, tisiyi

Notes

Various authors had recognized formas and varieties on basis of leaf form. With all material available it is clear that Peperomia rotundifolia is an extremely variable taxon; specimens may have tiny round leaves, others show round plus somewhat elliptic leaves. As a result, I decided to consider the varieties to be part of one taxon.
Peperomia rotundifolia and P. serpens, two very common species, can easily be distinguished by their inflorescences. In the former the inflorescences point out of the mat of vegetation and the spikes are far longer than the peduncle, whereas in P. serpens the inflorescences are less conspicuous between the mats and spikes and peduncles are equally long.
See also note to P. delascioi.