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Nomenclatural notes on Piper Linn. (Piperaceae) from India



More than a century ago, the comprehensive account of the Piperaceae in the Flora of British India by Hooker (1886) listed 45 species of Piper (including Pothomorphe) and ten species of Peperomia from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka as well as the Indonesian islands Java and Sumatra. The genus Piper was treated under six sections, wherein he listed 28 species from present day India. Several years later, C. de Candolle (1923) recognized 95 species of Piper and eight of Peperomia from India, including 41 species of Piper that were new, although they were not described fully until 1925. A number of new species and varieties were also added by Van Heurck & Müller Argoviensis (1871), C. de Candolle (1910, 1912), Gamble (1924), Ravindran et al. (1987), Babu et al. (1993), Gajurel et al. (2001 a & b, 2007), Lekhak et al. (2012), and Mathew et al. (2016). In the meantime, some regional accounts of the genus Piper were also published, including Rahiman & Nair (1987) from Karnataka, Gajurel et al. (2002, 2008) from Arunachal Pradesh, and Das et al. (2010) from Terai Duars, Darjeeling, and Sikkim. Long (1984) published an account of Piperaceae from Bhutan that included records from Sikkim, wherein he suggested some new synonyms. A critical examination of these publications points to their limitations concerning some of the identities and nomenclature.


Magnoliids, Nomenclature, Name changes in Piper Linn.

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Babu, K.N., Naik, V.G. & Ravindran, P.N. (1993) Two new taxa of Piper (Piperaceae) from Kerala, India with a note on their origin and interrelationships. Journal of Spices & Aromatic Crops 2: 26–33.

Blume, C.L. (1826) Monographie der Oost-Indische Pepersoorten, Over de Piperaceen. Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap der Kunsten en Wetenschappen. 11: 139–245.

Candolle, C. de (1869) Piperaceae. In: Candolle, A.C.P. de (Ed.) Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis. 16 (1): V. Mason, Paris, pp. 235(65)–471.

Candolle, C. de (1912) Piperaceae Meeboldianae herbaria Vratislaviensis I. Repertorium specierum novarum regni vegetabilis. 10: 518–523.

Candolle, C. de (1914) Piperaceae Meeboldianae herbaria Vratislaviensis II. Repertorium specierum novarum regni vegetabilis. 13: 297–300.

Candolle, C. de (1923) Piperacearum clavis analytica. Candollea 1: 65–415.

Candolle, C. de (1925) Piperaceae novae. I. India Orientalis. Candollea 2: 187–216.

Das, A.P., Samanta, A.K. & Biswas, K. (2010) A census of Piper Linn. (Piperaceae) in Terai Duars and the hills of Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas. Pleione 4 (1): 33–40.

Dietrich, A. (1832) Piperaceae Species Plantarum 6 (1): 140–186, 634–695.

Forster, J.G.A. (1786). Florulae insularum Australium: prodromus Gottingen, 5 pp.

Gajurel, P.R., Rethy, P. & Kumar, Y. (2001a) Piper haridasanii- a new species of Piper (Piperaceae) from Arunachal Pradesh, north-eastern India. Journal of Economic & Taxonomic Botany. 25 (2): 293–296. fig.1.

Gajurel, P.R., Rethy, P. & Kumar, Y. (2001b) A new species of Piper (Piperaceae) from Arunachal Pradesh, north-eastern India. Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society. 137: 417–419. fig. 1.

Gajurel, P.R., Rethy, P. & Kumar, Y. (2007) A new species of Piper L. (Piperaceae) from Arunachal Pradesh, India. Rheedea 17: 35–39. fig. 1–2.

Gajurel, P.R., Rethy, P., Kumar, Y. & Singh, B. (2008) Piper species (Piperaceae) of north-east India (Arunachal Pradesh). Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun, 222 pp.

Gamble, J.S. (1924) Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Royal Gardens, Kew. Kew. 1924: 387.

Hooker, J.D. (1886) Piperaceae In Hooker, J.D. (Ed.) The Flora of British India, 5. L. Reeves & Co. Ltd. London, pp. 78–99.

International Plant Names Index (2014) Published on the Internet. Available from: (accessed 1 March 2014)

Lekhak, M.M., Kambale, S.S. & Yadav, S.R. ( 2012) Piper relictum sp. nov. from northern Western Ghats, India. Nordic Journal of Botany 30: 571–574.

Long, D.G. (1984) Piperaceae In Grierson, A.J.C. & Long, D.G. (Eds.) Flora Bhutan, 1 (2). Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, UK, pp. 342–351.

Mathew, J., Varghese, K.G. & Yohannan, R. (2016) Piper rukshagandhum (Piperaceae): a new species from southern Western Ghats, India. Telopea 19: 23–29.

McNeill, J., Barrie, F.R., Buck, W.R., Demoulin, V., Greuter, W., Hawksworth, D.L., Herendeen, P.S., Knapp, S., Marhold, K., Prado, J., Van Reine, W.F.P., Smith, G.F. & Wiersema, J.H. (2012) International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code) Koeltz, pp. 1–142.

Miquel, F.A.W. (1843) Systema Piperacearum, I–IV. Fascicle I: Kramer, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 1–304.

Miquel, F.A.W. (1844) Systema Piperacearum. Fascicle II: Kramer, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 305–575.

Miquel, F.A.W. (1844 b) Illustrationes Piperacearum. Druck von Grass, Barth & Co. Breslau. 1–87, t. I–XXVIII.

Rahiman, B.A. & Nair, M.K. (1987) The genus Piper Linn. In Karnataka, India. Journal Bombay natural History Society 84: 66– 83.

Ravindran, P.N., Nair, M.K. & Nair, R.A. (1987) New taxa of Piper (Piperaceae) from Silent Valley forest, Kerala. Journal of Economic & Taxonomic Botany 10 (1): 167–169.

Schultes, J.A. (1822) Mantissa, 1. Stuttgardtiae, 241 pp.

Roxburgh, W. (1820) Flora Indica: or description of Indian plants.(Ed. Carey & Wallich) 1: Serampore, pp. 153–164.

Ruiz, H. & Pavon, J. (1798) Flora Peruviana, et Chilensis, sive, Descriptiones et icones plantarum Peruvianarum, et Chilensium, secundum systema Linnaeanum digestae, cum characteribus plurium generum evulgatorum reformatisauctoribus, 1. Madrid, 36 pp.

Salisbury, R.A. (1796) Prodromus Stirpium in Horto ad Chapel Allerton vigentium, Londini, p. 11.

Van Heurck, H. & Mueller, A.J. (1871) Piperaceae novae In: Heurck, V. (Ed.) Observationes botanicae et descriptiones plantarum novarum herbarii Van Heurckiani. Berlin, pp. 111– 117.

Wallich, N. (1828–1849) A numerical list of dried plant specimens of plants in the East India Company’s Museum, collected under the superintendence of Dr. Wallich of the Company’s Botanic Garden at Calcutta. pp. 1–253. (numbers 1–9148) (Unpublished)


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