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piper nigrum

Posted by dustin_nevadanorth z5 NV (My Page) on
Wed, May 9, 07 at 22:16

A few years back I got two piper nigrum, (black pepper) plants from two different trades. They look similar but have some differences. Both have the same general look, leafs look same, both produce rubbery balls on the back of the leaf. The stick next to the plants is a one foot ruler for reference.

Plant one grows faster, branches without pinching, has smaller leafs and stems (1/8 inch). When the soil dries it starts growing were it left off. Never suckers.

Plant two has larger leaf and stems (1/4 inch), grows slower, when dried out the current growth stops. Upon rewatering it sends out new suckers and never branches at the stem. Since I sometimes forget to keep it wet and we live in the high and dry desert it does not grow so well.

These plants may not be the same plant piper nigrum, if so I would like to id what they are.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper1c.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper1b.jpg The box is above what may be a flower bud, not sure. It grows about inch long just after a leaf forms then dries up. Maybe too dry here.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piperflower.jpg blow up of flower?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper1b.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper1a.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper2a.jpg

If you are unable to help can you recommend sources for information? Also can you recommend sites that will have detailed information on growing this plant? I have had a hard time finding much that is not geared towards cooking with pepper. If there is anything I missed let me know. Thanks for looking.

Dustin


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: piper nigrum

I'd be interested in hearing what you find out too. Both the cuttings you sent are growing and putting out new shoots. They were a bit slow to take off but our temps only warmed up a couple weeks ago and I was finally able to put them outside. I did lose the tags and don't know which is what anymore. When they get bigger I'll hopefully be able to have you ID them for me again. lol
Karyn


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RE: piper nigrum

Dont know what to tell you
the piper 2a looks like its actually Piper betel, not nigrum, and the other looks similar to nigrum but very small leaves
the leaves on mine, which is producing both flowers and fruit out on the fence has leaves much bigger, maybe yours is more juvenile and has yet to mature enough. mine also does not have the "droplets on the back of the leaves, I have seen that on some piper species before but not nigrum, unless its a cultural thing.
Piper nigrum does like to be very moist to wet feet and VERY humid. mine gets watered daily with my orchids.
hope that might help out a bit


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RE: piper nigrum

The residue that is on the back of the leaf on plant 1a,b and c starts as clear capsules that pop and leave a film on your hand. As the leaf ages they dry out and turn brown and look like small grains of sand. Does this sound familiar to any one? Plant 2 has a smooth clean back.


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RE: piper nigrum

The photo, 2a, looks a similar size to mine. No residue, though.
Started them, late last year from some small cuttings.They are still in a covered growing area as it is very dry here, still.
Please, orchhidguyftl, any special instructions? We have a lot of wind where we live, and I would presume, the piper nigrum doesn't like that!


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RE: piper nigrum

Mine are growing out on my fence where it gets lots of wind, I'm very close to the beach, humidity, and full sun most of the day. Mine is producing many flower spikes and some of the fruit is already formingI water it almost daily along with my orchids and feed it babanced fertilizer (20-20-20) every week, or every other week.
dont know if that helps at all.
hope they grow well for you


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RE: piper nigrum

Thanks, once we get a little more rain, I will try it on the fence.
By the way, I read your other post regarding sugar cane. The grow a 'purplish' one here that is used mostly for cattle & horses that looks lovely in the sun.


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RE: piper nigrum

Dustin, do you have yours in a greenhouse? Since they need so much humidity? I am in Sacramento and want to grow one, but the humidity factor may be a problem for me.


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RE: piper nigrum

Orchidguyftl
Can you post some pictures of a small flower bud just as it starts to form? I would like to compare it to plant #1. Would also like to see some flowers and fruit if you could. What looks like a flower starts to form on the last node just after a new leaf starts to form then dries up and dies, may be due to low humidity.

Heathen
Plant 1 grows well with our low humidity and high desert conditions as long as I dont let it dry out. Plant 2 has never taken off as well but still grows.

Below are excerpts from some e mails I received about piper. Steve Lucas was a great help. See the recipe for a recommended soil mix below. It reads from the bottom up.
What do you all think about Steves ideas?

Just as I suspected, TROPICOS says there are two variations to this species:
Piper nigrum var. macrostachyum C. DC.
and
Piper nigrum var. nigrum
I cannot find anything to explain what the differences are of the variations. For that you'd need to find a good botanical journal that discusses the species. TROPICOS lists a couple but I'm not sure how you would find them unless you live near a large library that has access to botanical scientific databases. Botanical scientists and most large libraries can link into those websites but individuals are not permitted to do so.
You might also try GRIN which is a service of the USDA. They sometimes will give you more detailed information if you write an email to them.
Steve Lucas
www.ExoticRainforest.com
I'm not aware of any sites that specifically talk about that species with the exception of TROPICOS and the International Plant Names Index (IPNI). Both are scientific sites and can easily be found on the net. You can also find them on the links page of my website along with several other scientific sources. My links page can be found at the bottom of the homepage. When you go to TROPICOS just type in the scientific name and it will take you to the page that explains if there are different species and/or names.
Your photos appear to match the photos on TROPICOS. But I can assure you the plants would need to have significant differences other than size to be different species. I have 4 verfified variations of P. hederaceum in my atrium and the only major difference is size. One does not have as deep burgundy undersides to the blade but is still verified as P. hederaceum. Size and blade color are often confusing factors to non-botanists but make little difference to a botanist unless there are other major factors such as vein pattern, length of internodes, differences in flowers if a plant flowers, and other technical factors.


Steve
Thanks for the info. I will try the soil mix. It will probably work better than what I use. My biggest question is verifying that these are both piper nigrum and if so what kind if that is possible to determine. The only other thing I would like would be some web sites with tropical plant cultivation and propagation. Thanks again Dustin
-----Original Message-----
From: ExoticRainforest [mailto:Steve@ExoticRainforest.com]
This is one I don't grow but I looked it up in several source books. The plant is from India, Madagascar, SE Asia and now has been introduced into Brazil. What all the countries have in common is they are tropical, humid, wet climates much of the year. India has a dry season that lasts from roughly November to March but the rest of the year it is quite wet.
Tropical species tend to flourish better if you attempt to give them similar conditions to what they receive in nature. In order to do that you will need to prepare a "tropical" soil mixture.

That is easily done by starting with something like Miracle Grow Moisture Control mix and adding some extras in roughly this mixture: 50% Miracle Grow, 20% Peat, 20% Perlite, 10% hard wood orchid potting media such as Schultz. Mix this well.
Once you pot the plants keep the soil mixture damp at all times, not soaking wet. You can allow the mixture to dry a bit in the season you wish to simulate the dry season but since you have a dry humidity you should not allow the soil to dry completely. Misting the specimens will also help. A trick one grower in Vista, California uses to simulate the humidity of the tropics is to create a shallow dish of gravel about 3 inches deep. Fill it with water almost to the top and then grow your plants sitting on top of the gravel. The constant humidity evaporating around the leaves will make them believe they are in the tropics. When you water the plant the extra water will simply drain into the rocks.
Another trick that works well in dry climates is to buy a large attractive globe and cover the plants as they sit in their pot above the gravel and water. The humidity inside the container will stay quite high and the plants will feel much more like they are in the tropics.
Now, as for your variations. I can find references to numerous similar but un-scientifically identified species found in nature. You may have one or more of these variations. More likely you simply have plants that are natural variations. Here's an example to illustrate:
Asian people don't look just like Americans. Indians don't look just like Asians. Africans don't look just like Hawaiians. Mexicans don't look just like people from France. But all are the same species. We all are only one species, we are just variants of that species. Some are tall, some are short, some are plump, some are thin, some have darker or lighter skin. Plants are the exact same way. For some odd reason people expect every plant with a slightly different leaf shape or size to have a different scientific name. For many years botanists believed the same thing. That's why you can find many plants such as Philodendron hederaceum with up to 20 different scientific names. Most botanists today understand variants and as a result have combined many synonym names into a single basionym. You very like just have variations of one species. As Dr. Tom Croat from the Missouri Botanical Garden once told me when I asked about two plants with identical leaves of different sizes, "My brother is larger than I am, but we are the same species!".
Hope this helps. If not, feel free to ask for any clarifications. Good luck growing them!
Steve Lucas
www.ExoticRainforest.com
----- Original Message -----
From: Dustin
A few years back I got two piper nigrum, (black pepper) plants from two different trades. They look similar but have some differences. Both have the same general look, leafs look same, both produce rubbery balls on the back of the leaf. The stick next to the plants is a one foot ruler for reference.
Plant one grows faster, branches without pinching, has smaller leafs and stems (1/8 inch). When the soil dries it starts growing were it left off. Never suckers.
Plant two has larger leaf and stems (1/4 inch), grows slower, when dried out the current growth stops. Upon rewatering it sends out new suckers and never branches at the stem. Since I sometimes forget to keep it wet and we live in the high and dry desert it does not grow so well.
These plants may not be the same plant piper nigrum, if so I would like to id what they are.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper1c.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper1b.jpg The box is above what may be a flower bud, not sure. It grows about inch long just after a leaf forms then dries up. Maybe too dry here.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piperflower.jpg blow up of flower?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper1b.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper1a.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/DustinFreeman1/piper2a.jpg
If you are unable to help can you recommend sources for information? Also can you recommend sites that will have detailed information on growing this plant? I have had a hard time finding much that is not geared towards cooking with pepper. If there is anything I missed let me know. Thanks for looking.
Dustin


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RE: piper nigrum

if I can borrow a cam I will post some pics


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