Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Piper methysticum
Lorence & Wagner, 2020.
   Piperaceae -- The Pepper Family Bibliography
      Piper methysticum

Common name(s): pepper, `awa, kava, pu `awa
General Information
DistributionNative range uncertain, but probably indigenous to eastern Malesia or possibly the New Hebrides, widely spread by aboriginal voyagers, now widely cultivated and occasionally persisting or spreading vegetatively.In the Hawaiian Islands, a Polynesian introduction on Ni`ihau, Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Dioecous shrub, 1.5‒3 m tall; stems jointed, swollen at nodes, internodes variously colored and textured, green to dark purple, smooth to verrucose.
Leaves alternate, petiolate; blade cordate, 13‒30 cm long, 10‒23 cm wide, palmately veined, principal veins 9‒13, spreading from the base except the 3 uppermost, abaxial surface minutely puberulent on veins; petiole 2‒10 cm long; stipules accrescent and usually persistent at ultimate node and sometimes at some of the proximal nodes, 4.5‒5.5 cm long, 0.8‒2.2 cm wide.
Flowers unisexual, mature spikes white, 3‒9 cm long including peduncle, peduncle to 1.5 cm long; bracts glabrous, fruiting spikes curving downwards.
Fruit ca. 2‒3 mm in diameter, globose or subglobose, orange-red, each fruit discrete.
Nancy Khan