Contribution to the knowledge of Peperomia ( Piperaceae ): fruit and seeds
AbstractPeperomia Ruiz et Pavón comprises an indetermined number of species distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres. One reason for interest in this genus is the difficulty of determining its species. Microscopic features were studied for fruit and seed of 17 Mexican Peperomia species representing six subgenera (Acrocarpidium, Micropiper, Ogmocarpidium, Rhyncophorum, Sphaerocarpidium, and Tildenia). Results show that all 17 materials can be distinguished by fruit characters. The differences among fruits are: (a) location and insertion of fruit on rachis, (b) ovary form, (c) curvature, (d) celular composition in exocarp and endocarp, (e) style form, (f) stigma position, (g) presence of crystals in the pericarp, and (h) dermal cuticle ornamentation. New taxonomic characters are reported, and common terms concerning the insertion and appearance of the fruit are clarified. The seeds of all these species have voluminous perisperm, scarce endosperm, and an undeveloped embryo. Fruit characters in Peperomia can be useful for identifying the species of this genus. However, a thorough search in more species is suggested for additional characters or character states.
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