Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Piper mestonii F.M.Bailey

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Inflorescence and female flowers. © CSIRO
Mature fruit. © R.L. Jago
Leaves and fruit. © R.L. Jago
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Bailey, F.M. (1889) Botany of the Bellenden-Ker Expedition (in Meston: Report of the Government Scientific Expedition to the Bellenden-Ker Range) : 54. Type: Queensland, Harveys Creek, Russell River, A. Meston & F.M. Bailey s.n. Holo: BRI.

Common name

Long Pepper


Vine stem diameters to 4 cm recorded.


Leaf blades about 9.5-20 x 4-14 cm, petioles about 1.5-4 cm long, shallowly grooved on the upper surface. All major veins depart from the midrib in the lower one third of the leaf blade. Stipules caducous, sheathing the terminal bud, shed as each leaf expands leaving a prominent scar. Hairs present on the underside of the leaf blade particularly towards the base.


Female flowers: Flowers borne in spikes about 20-30 x 8-10 mm on a peduncle about 10-15 mm long. Flowers very small, consisting of a peltate bract and an ovary. Ovary about 1.5 x 1 mm. Style about 0.8-1 mm long. Stigma slightly bifid. Ovules 1.


Infructescence cylindrical, about 4-7 x 1.5 cm on a stalk about 1.5-2 cm long. Individual fruits sessile, styles persistent at the apex. Seeds ellipsoidal, about 2 x1 mm, embedded in tissue towards the base of the fruit. Embryo small and inconspicuous, located at the pointed end of the seed. Embryo conical, about 0.2 mm long, not clearly differentiated into radicle and cotyledons.


Cotyledons elliptic, about 5 x 3 mm, apex contracted, beak-like, almost mucronate. First pair of leaves glabrous, +/- orbicular, apex acute, base obtuse. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate-cordate, apex acute, base obtuse to slightly cordate. Leaf 3-veined with two other major veins further up. Stipules about 11 mm long, enclosing the terminal bud, attached to the petiole leaving an elongated scar on its upper surface when shed. Seed germination time 38 to 49 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 350 m. Grows in well developed lowland rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Sometimes cultivated in tropical gardens on a trellis or up tree trunks. Produces red finger-like fruits.

Piper harveyanum Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 557(1921), Type: Queensland, Harveys Creek, Jan. 1910. Holo: PR?.
RFK Code
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