Has been referred to as Peperomia blanda var. floribunda (Miq.) H.Huber
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
2n = 66
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2012 | Non-resident Native – Coloniser | Qualifiers: OL, SO
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Non-resident Native – Coloniser | Qualifiers: SO, OL
2004 | Non-resident Native – Vagrant
In New Zealand known from Raoul Island (Kermadec Island group) only. Common on islands throughout the Pacific
In New Zealand found as a low epiphyte on Kermadec Pohutukawa (Metrosideros kermadecensis W.R.B.Oliv.), on cliff faces and amongst rocks and rubble beneath cliff faces and ravines on Raoul Island.
Succulent perennial herb forming sparingly to densely branched shrublets up to 500 x 600 mm. Stems light yellow gree to reddish-green, ascending or erect from creeping base, 150-250-500 mm long, up to 10 mm diameter at base, branches less toward apex, internodes 10-40 mm apart; surfaces finely puberulent (hairs 0.3-0.8 mm long). Leaves opposite or sometimes ternate, usually falling readily. Petioles 5-10 mm long, puberulent. Leaf lamina 15-60 x 12-30 mm, dark green to yellow-green, lower surface paler, elliptic-obovate to elliptic, or elliptic-ovate, apex broadly acute, obtuse or rounded, base cuneate to broadly cuneate; palmately 3-5-nerved, finely puberulent, moderately firm-fleshy, thin and membranous. Inflorescences axillary or terminal spikes, these numerous, 20-130 mm long, rachis 0.5-1 mm diameter, glabrous. Flowers moderately close to loosely spaced, peduncles 5-25 mm long, puberulent with finely spreading to appressed hairs; ovary broadly ovoid, apex oblique; stigmas subterminal. Fruit broadly obovoid 0.9-1 mm.
It is not closely allied to any of the other species found in New Zealand. On Raoul Island it grows with P. urvilleana from which it is easily distinguished by its larger uniformly hairy leaves
October - July
October - July
Easy from rooted pieces, stem cuttings and (if available) fresh seed. Cold sensitive but an excellent pot plant fora warm, shaded site in the house
Still uncommon on Raoul Island, though recent (2004, 2009) field survey suggests it is actively increasing its range on that island (de Lange 2020).
peperomia: From the Greek peperi (pepper) and homoios (resembling), referring to its resemblance to a true pepper (to which it is closely related)
leptostachya: Slender spiked
Formerly listed as a vagrant. It is now clear that it is actively spreading and as it is apaprently no longer constrained to a particular habitat on Raoul Island it is better regarded as a Coloniser. New Zealand plants were initially referred to P. leptostachya, then Sykes & West (1996) following Forster (1993) placed Raoul plants in P. blanda var. floribunda by Forster (1993) (see also comments by Murray & de Lange (2013). Recently Mathieu (2020) showed that Peperomia blanda var. floribunda was a superfluous name and that the widespread Pacific Basin plant that had been referred to it and to P. blanda was actually P. leptostachya. Peperomia blanda is a northern South American species (see also comments by de Lange 2020).
Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (30 August 2011). Description based on fresh specimens and live plants from Raoul Island.
References and further reading
de Lange, P.J. 2020: Peperomia leptostachya (Piperaceae) on Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands—a name reinstated. Trilepidea 197: 3-8
Forster, P.I. 1993: A taxonomic revision of the genus Peperomia Ruiz & Pav. (Piperaceae) in mainland Australia. Austrobaileya 4: 93-104.
Mathieu, G. 2020: Peperomia leptostachya (Piperaceae) revived. Candollea 75: 45-49.
Murray, B.G.; de Lange, P.J. 2013: Contributions to a chromosome atlas of the New Zealand flora – 40. Miscellaneous counts for 36 families. New Zealand Journal of Botany 51: 31–60.
Sykes, W.R.; West, C.J. 1996: New records and other information on the vascular flora of the Kermadec Islands. New Zealand Journal of Botany 34: 447–462.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Peperomia leptostachya Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/peperomia-leptostachya/ (Date website was queried)