Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Peperomia leptostachya
Florence, 1997; Huber, 1988; Wagner et al., 1990, 1999; Lorence & Wagner, 2020.
   Piperaceae -- The Pepper Family Bibliography
      Peperomia leptostachya
General Information
DistributionWidely distributed from Australia (Queensland), across the Pacific region from Micronesia through Melanesia and Polynesia to the Hawaiian and Pitcairn Islands.In the Hawaiian Islands, indigenous to Ni`ihau, Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

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Herb, epiphytic or saxicolous; stems green or reddish green, ascending or erect from a repent base, 15‒20(‒25) cm long, to 6 mm in diameter toward base, unbranched to few branched in distal part, internodes (1‒)1.5‒3(‒4) cm long, finely appressed to somewhat spreading hirtellous, hairs 0.3‒0.8 mm long.
Leaves opposite or sometimes ternate, petiolate; blade moderately firm fleshy, drying thin and membranaceous, green, abaxial surface paler, usually easily deciduous, elliptic-obovate to elliptic, or sometimes some of them elliptic-ovate, variable in size, palmately 3- or 5-veined, puberulent, but never glabrate, margin flat, apex broadly acute to rounded, base cuneate, sometimes broadly so; petiole 0.5‒1 cm long.
Inflorescences a spike, 1 to numerous per stem, axillary and terminal, slender, 4.5‒13 cm long, sometimes some of them as short as 3 cm long, the fertile rachis ca. 0.5‒1 mm in diameter, glabrous; flowers moderately to loosely congested, peduncle 0.5‒2 cm long, rarely a few of them to 2.5 cm long, finely spreading to appressed hirtellous. Flowers with broadly ovoid ovary, apex oblique, stigma subterminal.
Fruit broadly obovoid, 0.9‒1 mm long, sessile when fully mature.
According to work by Mathieu (2020) to reexamine the type and original illustration of Peperomia blanda (Jacq.) Kunth, it is a distinct species from the Old World and across the Pacific islands, and is apparently restricted to only Venezuela. Recent molecular analyses of the Pacifc species and a number of other species from the New and Old World (Lim et al. 2019) suggest that most all of the samples of P. leptostachya form a monophyletic group, but that group does not include the samples in the study from Africa and Asia. Although further study of this widely distributed complex is clearly warranted, we currently are applying the name P. letptostachya to plants from Australia out across the Pacific Islands only.
David Lorence