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P Native Photo: Vinay Kumar Sahani
Common name: Pipla • Adi: Loori
Botanical name: Piper pedicellatum    Family: Piperaceae (Pepper family)
Synonyms: Piper clarkei, Piper nigramentum, Piper curtipedunculum

Pipla is a climber which is hairless except for axis and bases of bracts. Stems are drying blackish, 1-2 mm thick, finely striped when dry. Leaf-stalks are 5-10 mm, sheathed at base only; leaf blade ovate or narrowly ovate to elliptic, 7-14 x 4-8 cm, papery, finely glandular, base oblique, sometimes higher side rounded, bilateral difference about 2 mm, tip pointed to tapering; veins 7-9, apical pair arising 2-4 cm above base, alternate, next pair 0.5-1.5 cm above base; netveined veins prominent. Flowers are borne in leaf-opposed spikes. Male spikes are 15-25 cm x 2-3 mm; flower-cluster-stalk up to 2 cm; bracts round, 0.5-1 mm wide, peltate, stalk 1-1.2 mm, base velvet-hairy. Stamens 2; filaments very short to ± absent; anthers ovoid to spherical. Female spikes are 9-14 cm x about 3.5 mm at flowering, 4-5 mm thick in fruit; flower-cluster-stalk nearly 2 times as long as leaf-stalks; axis roughly velvet-hairy; bracts round, stalk to 1 mm, 0.8-1 mm in diam. Drupe is obovoid, 4-angled, 1.5-2 mm. Pipla is found in E Bangladesh, Bhutan, NE India, Sikkim, N Vietnam, at altitudes of 1000-1900 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Vinay Kumar Sahani Photographed in Vijaynagar, Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh.

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