Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Piper caninum Blume
Blume, C. (1826) Verhandlungen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten & Wetenschappen 2: 214. Type: Woonplaats, in vochtige wouden van bergachtige streken, op Java, bij de Sundas bekend als Serung-Lowong. Holo: L?.
Piper, Common; Common Piper
A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.
Leaf blades about 9-18 x 3.5-12 cm, petioles about 0.5-4 cm long with a triangular scar extending from the base almost to the apex. Lower surface of the leaf blade clothed in erect hairs, upper surface glabrous. Stipules caducous, about 0.5-2 cm long, sheathing the terminal bud. Leaves slightly aromatic when crushed.
Male flowers: Inflorescence a dense spike about 3-6 cm long, peduncle about 10-15 mm long, leaf-opposed or at least not axillary. Flowers very small, about 0.6-0.8 mm diam., consisting of a petal scale and stamens. Stamens about 0.6-1 mm long. Anthers about 0.2-0.25 mm long, filaments about 0.4-0.75 mm long. Female flowers: Inflorescence a dense spike about 15 mm long, peduncle about 8-10 mm long, leaf-opposed. Flowers small, difficult to discern, consisting of a peltate bract about 0.8 mm diam. and an ovary. Ovary about 0.8 mm long, surrounded by multicellular short hairs. Stigmas small, glandular and elongated. Ovules 1.
Infructescence about 6-13 cm long, on a peduncle about 1.5 cm long. Individual fruits ellipsoidal, about 6-8 x 6 mm. Pedicels about 2-3 mm long. Seeds ellipsoidal, about 5-6 x 3.5-4 mm. Embryo linear, about 0.7 -1.5 x 0.4 mm, enclosed in a conical structure. Radicle longer and wider than the cotyledons.
Cotyledons +/- reniform or orbicular-cordate, about 20-27 x 21-26 mm, petioles densely clothed in hairs. Cotyledon apex broadly mucronate or abruptly acuminate, base +/- truncate. Cotyledons hairy or almost glabrous on the upper surface, lower surface densely clothed in hairs. First leaves cordate, +/- 5-veined at the base. Both surfaces of the leaf blades clothed in hairs, the lower surface more densely clothed. Leaf blades and cotyledons very pale, almost white on the lower surface. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate, apex acuminate, base cordate with the lobes +/- overlapping, 3-7-veined close to the base but becoming penninerved towards the apex. Underside of the leaf blade clothed in pale, erect hairs, upper surface with hairs +/- confined to the main veins. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Stipules caducous, glabrous, about 6-15 mm long, enclosing the terminal bud and attached to the adaxial surface of the petiole. Adventitious roots present at most nodes. Roots emit a spicy odour when crushed. Seed germination time 41 to 47 days.
This species may have medicinal properties. The antibacterial compound, bornyl coumarate has been isolated from it. (http://chemistry.uah.edu/Faculty/setzer/natprod.h tml)