Piper marginatum

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Piper marginatum

Description

Subshrub or treelet, to 3 m tall; fragrant like anise. Petiole vaginate to apex, 4 cm long, glabrous; blade not dark glandular-dotted, rounded to ovate, 10-12 x 8-15 cm, margin ciliate, apex (long-)acuminate, base equal or almost equally attached to petiole, deeply cordate, glabrescent or veins puberulent; palmately 9-11-veined. Inflorescence erect and recurved; peduncle 1 cm long, glabrous; spike 10-13(-20) cm long; floral bracts densely marginally fringed. Fruits oblongoid, glabrous, stigmas 3, sessile.

Distribution

Northern America: Southern America:, Ecuador (Ecuador present)
From Mexico south to Brazil and Ecuador, the West Indies; over 100 collections studied (GU: 16; SU: 48; FG: 37).

Notes

When Kunth described Piper catalpifolium, he already observed that it is related to P. marginatum. Steyermark accepted this taxon as P. marginatum var. marginatum f. catalpifolium. The differences are found in the leaf indument consisting of more or fewer hairs on the leaf upper surface. To have to look for some hairs or a few more hairs on the leaves is no argument to create infraspecific taxa. Therefore I do not accept this taxon for the Guianas.
Yuncker (1957: 230-231), recognised two more varieties: var. anisatum and var. clausum; the differences are so small that I do not accept them here.
Piper marginatum is easily recognizable by the deeply cordate, palmately veined leaves.