I am still not able guess what made Janaki Turaga
so excited about mail, to send mail again and again. If there is any previous
interaction responsible for this, let me share this excitement.
Any how as promised yesterday I had critical look
at the specimens I had photographed yesterday, studied specimens again, and am
happy to announce that as for I am concerned, my plant is Piper longum. As a
final check I asked the gardeners about its name. They said it is Pipli,
piplamul, a name that goes with P. longum only. Here is the information I
collected the 4 species considered in the mails on this thread.
Of the four species P. nigrum belongs to section
Eupiper; P. longum and P. hapnium Ham. to section Chavia; and P. cubeba to
section Cubeba and are differentiated as under
Section Cubeba: Spikes solitary; fls
dioecious; female bract peltate; fruit with a long stalk- P. cubeba belongs
here- climbing; stem round; leaves ovate oblong, acuminate, 4-6.5 cm long, 1.5-2
cm long; berry with long stalk.- obviously not my plant.
Section Eupiper: Spikes solitary; fl dioicios or
polgamous; fruit sessile, forming interrupted spikes; bracts and bracteoles
adnate to axis- P. nigrum belongs here-Glabrous climbing and rooting plants;
leaves coriaceous, ovate oblong; petiole 1.2-4 cm; leaf blade rounded and
oblique at base, sometimes cordate; nerves 5-9 (2 pairs near base, more
higher); spike variable in length; leaf width upto 2/3 0f length, which
again varies; bracts wholly adnate without raised margins- again not our
Section Chavica: Spikes solitary; fls dioiecious;
female bracts orbicular, peltate; fruit sessile, in cylindric or globose spikes.
P. hapnium and P. longum belong here.
P. hapnium is hoary plant, has stout warted
branches; petiole 8-12 mm long; leaves oblong-lanceolate, 6-10 cm long, 4-5 cm
broad, 7-nerved, leaves usually pubescent beneath, older leaves rugose;
peduncles longer than leaves- it does not match our plant.
P. longum is glabrous creeping plant, branches
angular; lower leaves with 2.5-7 cm long petiole; bladeovate-cordate,
acuminate, 5-9 cm long, almost as broad; upper leaves sessile and
amplexicaul, narrower. female spike 1.2-2 cm.
In our plant Creeping habit, 4-angled stems, lower
leaves with nearly 6-7 cm long petiole (not in any other of 3 species), lower
leaves almost as broad as long; upper leaves sessile and amplexicaul; leaves not
coriaceous all match with P. longum
Comments are welcome. If there is any doubt, I can
Frankly speaking I have experience with this large
genus, I saw and photographed it only yesterday, and today I went to the
University Library to check things.
Thanks Janaki for activating me.I learnt a