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Dravid's Pepper
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Dravid's Pepper
E Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Dravid's Pepper
Botanical name: Piper dravidii    Family: Piperaceae (Pepper family)

Dravid's Pepper, a newly described (2014) pepper species, is a branched evergreen woody climber. It is named for Dr. Natraj K. Dravid, a physician from Maharashtra. Stems are round, hairless, rooting at nodes. Leaves are carried on leaf-stalks 0.3-1.5 cm long; leaf-stalk grooved above, hairless. Leaves are leathery, lanceshaped-ovate, 3.0-10.5 x 1-3.5 cm, oblique at base, pointed at tip, margin entire, hairless, upper surface green, lower surface glaucous, gland-dotted. Inflorescence is a catkin, leaf-opposed, solitary, drooping. Male inflorescence is 3-10 cm long, 10-40-flowered, cylindrical, light green when young, pale during anthesis, carried on stalk 0.3-3.5 cm long. Bracts are adnate to the axis, obconical, transformed into a fleshy cup with narrow slit-like mouth, hairless. Female inflorescence is 2-5.5 cm long, 5-20-flowered, greenish, carried on stalk 0.5-1.0 cm long, hairless. Bracts are adnate to the axis, obconical, transformed into a fleshy cup with narrow slit like mouth, hairless. Fruit is a drupe, 4-5 x 4-5 mm, spherical, stalkless, green when young, orange when ripe. Dravid's Pepper is found in Maharashtra (Kolhapur and Satara District) and Karnataka (Belgaum District). Flowering: All year.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed near Shigekeri, North Karnataka.

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