Piper angustifolium

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Piper angustifolium

Description

Shrub or subshrub to 1.5 m tall. Stem retrorsely pubescent with swollen nodes. Stipules ovate-lanceolate, often rather long persistent; petiole 0.1-0.4 cm long, vaginate at base, retrorsely pubescent; blade not scabrous, not conspicuously glandular-dotted, narrowly lanceolate, 5-11 x 1-2.8 cm, apex long-acuminate, base equal or almost equally attached to petiole, acute, glabrous; pinnately veined, secondary veins 6-10 per side, originating from throughout primary vein, plane above, prominulous below, anastomosing well within margin. Inflorescence erect; peduncle 0.2-0.4(-0.7) cm long, retrorsely pubescent; spike almost globose, to 1 x 1.5 cm, apiculate; floral bracts cucullate, glabrous. Infructescence erect, green; fruits depressed globose or obovoid, ca. 2.5 mm wide (when dried), glabrous, stigmas 3(-4?), sessile.

Distribution

French Guiana: present Rio Madeira: present Southern America:, Brazil North (Amazonas present) Suriname, Republic of: present
Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil (Amazonas, Rio Madeira); ca. 30 collections studied, many sterile (SU: 1; FG: 30).

Notes

In the Paris herbarium I have seen Richard s.n., an isotype. It is in a small bag and consists of two leaves, two young spikes and a stem fragment. It agrees well with the description. I have not seen the holotype and do not know where it is.
Piper angustifolium can be distinguished from P. anonifolium and P. eucalyptifolium by retrorsely pubescent stems, whereas in P. anonifolium and P. eucalyptifolium stems are glabrous, except for lines of hairs.
Comparing the descriptions and the collections at hand of P. angustifolium and P. piresii Yunck. from N Brazil I conclude that they probably belong to one species. A final conclusion can only be made after studies of the type. Both are small shrubs with swollen nodes, glabrous leaves, retrorsely pubescent stems, etc. and very short spikes with cucullate, glabrous floral bracts.