Piper aduncum


Shrub or treelet, 3-7 m tall. Stem sparsely pubescent to glabrescent; upper internodes rather slender. Prophyll to 2.5 cm long, pubescent at least on primary vein. Leaves somewhat glandular-dotted; petiole 0.3-0.8 cm long, pubescent, vaginate near base; blade scabrous, yellow-green, lanceolate or lanceolate-oblong or elliptic-ovate, 12-24 x 3-8 cm, apex acuminate, base unequally attached to petiole 0.3-0.4 cm, rounded to subcordate, sparsely pubescent at least on veins above or glabrescent, sparsely pubescent or glabrescent below, somewhat rugulose; pinnately veined, secondary veins 6-8 per side, arising from 1/2 to 3/4 of primary vein, sharply ascending, impressed above, prominent below, tertiary veins parallel between secondaries, minor veins reticulate. Inflorescence recurved; peduncle 0.7-1.2(-2.5) cm long, sparsely pubescent; spike 8-15 cm long, white to green, apiculate; flowers densely arranged in rings or spirals; floral bracts densely marginally fringed; stamens with broad connective. Infructescence recurved; fruits obovoid, trigonous or somewhat tetragonous, 0.7-0.8 mm in diam., glabrous or glabrescent, glandular, stigmas 3, sessile.


Neotropics: present
Throughout the range of the family in the Neotropics; over 100 collections studied (GU: 33; SU: 38; FG: 35).

Common Name

English (French Guiana): ga(an) man udu (ana), watnle; English (Guyana, Republic of): bushi man lembelembe


Piper aduncum is easily recognizable by the strongly curved spikes, and scabrous leaves that are often yellow-green and drooping.


Piper aduncum L., Sp.: Pl. 29. 1753 sec. C.A. Todzia & al. 2006
  • Steffensia adunca (L.) Kunth in Linnaea 13: 633. 1840
  • Artanthe adunca (L.) Miq., Syst. Piperac.: 449. 1844



CountryDateCollector + collecting numberHerbariaTypeScanDerivatives
Hoff 5399
Citation: Cabassou Cr., Hoff 5399.

Guyana, Republic ofHarrison 1746
Citation: Guyana, Republic of, CAS Mon repos, Harrison 1746.

Guyana, Republic ofJenman 5290
Citation: Guyana, Republic of, Mazaruni Station, Jenman 5290.

Hahn 3784
Citation: Piste de St. Elie, Hahn 3784.

Suriname, Republic ofMaguire & Stahel 27171
Citation: Suriname, Republic of, s.l., Maguire & Stahel 27171.

Suriname, Republic ofKramer & Hekking 2605
Citation: Suriname, Republic of, Wanica, Kramer & Hekking 2605.