The piperáceas ( Piperaceae ) are a family of Angiospermaes of the Order Piperales . consists of 11 3000 sorts and Species that are distributed by the tropical regions of the planet.


  • Trees Shrubs Grass or sometimes epífitas Rattans, the trepadoras with accidental roots in the knots. Eléocitos present in diverse parts of the plant, aromatic, with essential oils. Indumento of simple or multicellular hairs, or plants glabras; often present globular or translucent and colored glands.
  • alternating, opposed Leaves, in spiral or all basal, simple, whole, pecioladas, succulent or grasses, very variable in form and size, Nerviación acródroma, actinódroma, broquidódroma, camptódroma or campilódroma, with Estípulas intrapeciolares. Estomas tetracíticos or anisocíticos. Frequently with adaxiales proedges in the form of pointed hood associated to the inflorescencia and developing leaf. Hidátodos frequently present in species living in saturated humidity atmospheres.
  • Stems with liberoleñosos (like in Monocotiledóneas, but abiertos scattered beams, without esclerenquimatosa case) or in 2 ring. Naked swollen, 3 - to multilacunares, with 3-5 or more foliar signs.
  • Plantas hermafroditas, monoicas or dioicas.
  • Inflorescencias axillary, terminal or opositifolias, pedunculadas, in Espiga or Cluster, péndulas or turgid.
  • slight, aclamídeas, each with a unique basal bráctea, pediceladas or sésiles Flowers, with bilateral or dorsiventral symmetry. Androceo of (1) 2-6 (- 10) Estambres free or soldiers to the base of the ovary, filantéreos, Anthers with 2 Thecas each 2-esporangiada theca, or monothecas (in Peperomia ), extrorsas to latrorsas, dehiscence by longitudinal cracks. Gineceo I surpass, to unilocular, formed by sincarpia of (2) 3-4 carpels (1 in Peperomia ), Stigmata 1-4, dry, papiloso one, ovum 1, ascending one, ortótropo, bitégmico (unitégmico in Peperomia ), crasinucelado, basal Placentación .
  • Fruit in Berry or Drupe, sometimes with prominent styles.
  • Seeds with little Endospermo and abundant, amylaceous Perispermo, very small Embryo .
  • globoso Pollen, tectado, monosulcado, inaperturado in Peperomia, frequently espinuloso Tectum .
  • chromosomal Number : x = 11, apparently, present in Peperomia ; nevertheless, x is = 13 in Macropiper and Piper and x = 19 in Zippelia .


The pollination in Piper usually realizes it bees. The mature fruits are consumed by bats and the seeds dispersed in their lees. In the case of Macropiper, the fruits succulent and is shiningly colored, and apparently they consume the birds. The fruits of Peperomia develop a viscous prolongation that probably contributes to one exozoocoria, whereas Zippelia secures the same effects with its fruits with espínulas gloquidiadas.

The members of this family are plants adapted to the conditions of life in the tropical and subtropics, essentially in the forests, in shady places, sometimes like epífitas, other times like opportunists in zones clareadas for highways or pastures.


The species of this chemical compound different family produce a great amount of, mainly derived from Fenilalanina . The essential oils contain Monoterpenos Sesquiterpenos and Fenilpropanos to more or less equal parts. is characteristic Lignanos a furfuránico derivative, Cinnamoilamidas α-pironas and derived from Aporfina . Proantocianidinas and absent Flavonoles . Absent Cianogénesis.


From an economic point of view, the most important species is the pepper, Piper nigrum, of which different varieties in culture exist from time immemorial and is one of the most important spices (black pepper, the mature fruit, or white, immature). Next to this one, other species are used like substitute, Piper longum . The leaves of Piper betle are used in Asia and Africa to surround the betel nuts ( Areca palm catechu, Arecaceae ), used like masticatorio. The fruits of Ottonia darienensis taste to nail essence and they are used like this one to induce sleep the teeth that hurt. Other species of Piper and Macropiper are used locally in farmacopea, the stimulating or narcotic drink obtaining ( Kava of Macropiper methysticum ) and like poison of fish. Some species are popular ornamental plants.

Systematic position

The piperáceas are a primitive group of Angiospermaes . In the past, one has considered them, along with saururáceas, directly derived from Magnoliales . Nevertheless, the inflorescencias in ear, the absence of perianto and floral symmetry distinguish the bilateral them perfectly. Also relations with Monocotiledóneas have been postulated on the basis of the vascular structure. APW (Angiosperm Phylogeny Website) considers that Piperales comprises of the Order, being the brother group of saururáceas (cf.

Táxones including

The family comes subdividing in two subfamilies: Peperomioideae and Piperoideae (APW AP-website is seen). Nevertheless, recent filogenéticos analyzes do not confirm this basic division, since clado basal would be formed by the sorts Zippelia + Manekia, that would be the brother group of a nucleus that would contain to the rest of the sorts (Jaramillo ET to ., 2004, see references).

The recognized sorts can be distinguished with the following key:

  • globoso Fruit, densely covered with gloquidiados hairs.

Zippelia Blume, 1830. China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam.
  • Fruit of another type, without gloquidiados hairs.

* unisexuales Flowers.

* Inflorescencias axillary, reunited in umbelas.

Macropiper Miq. Islands of South Pacific.
* solitary, terminal Inflorescencia, usually opositifolia. Tropical Asia and Africa.
* perfect Flowers.

* Grass, epífitas, usually frequently succulent. Brácteas floral orbiculares. Penicilados stigmata. Fruits in drupe with translucent prominencia.

Peperomia Ruiz & Pav.
* epífitas, trepadoras, rarely crawling Grass, shrubs or little trees. Brácteas floral triangular to caliciform or peltadas. Stigmata nonpenicilados. Ovary (2) to 3-4-carpelar. Fruits in drupe or berry, without prominencias.

* trepadora or crawling Plant. Inflorescencias axillary or terminal, usually in pairs. Partially immersed fruit in raquis been high and mighty.

Manekia Trel. Central America and of the South, the Antilles.
* Tree, shrub, trepadora or grass. Inflorescencias opositifolias. Free, nonimmersed fruit in raquis.

Ottonia Spreng. Central America and of the South, the Antilles; introduced in other tropical areas.


  • Peperomiaceae .
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