False-Nettle Leaved Pepper
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False-Nettle Leaved Pepper
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: False-Nettle Leaved Pepper • Sanskrit: Chavya, Gajapippali
Botanical name: Piper boehmeriifolium    Family: Piperaceae (Pepper family)
Synonyms: Chavica boehmeriaefolia, Piper boehmeriaefolia?

False-Nettle Leaved Pepper is an erect subshrubs 1-3 m tall, hairless to uniformly hairy, most parts usually drying black. Stems are round to thickly ridged when dry, minutely papillate to smooth, usually hairless. Leaf-stalks are 3-10 mm. Leaves, toward base of stem, are elliptic, narrowly elliptic, oblong, oblong-lanceolate, or ovate, 11-24 × 4-9.5 cm, papery to thinly papery, densely finely glandular, smooth above, base oblique, 1 side rounded, other side tapered and acute, bilateral difference 2-3 mm, tip pointed to long pointed, veins 6-10, usually 1 more lateral vein on wider side. Flower-spikes are mostly leaf-opposed, often at branch ends in male plants. Male spikes are 10-16 cm × 2-3 mm, carried on 1-3.5 cm long stalk. Female spikes are 6-12 cm. Fruits are densely clustered, round, distinct, 1.2-3 mm in diameter. False-Nettle Leaved Pepper is found in Eastern Himalayas, from Bhutan to NE India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sikkim, Thailand, N Vietnam and parts of China, at altitudes of 500-2200 m. Flowering: December-July.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Ganesh Villa, Kalimpong, West Bengal.
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