Friday, December 19, 2008

Question for the Hive Mind: Peperomia NOID

I lead a fairly dull life. Any time not claimed by work or watering the plants at home goes to the blog, pretty much, and I only occasionally get the chance to do anything else. Sometimes this wears me down a bit, and I feel an urgent need to get out of Iowa City and go somewhere else. Usually this means going to a garden center in another city and buying more plants, which is counterproductive, obviously.

Last Wednesday was one of those days: I just couldn't stand the thought of looking at the Adenium obesum profile any more (it's since been finished), and I didn't want to water all day, and I was desperate to get out of town. So the husband and I went to Batavia, IA, a town of about 500 people roughly eighty miles to the southwest, to investigate reports of a greenhouse.

And there was one, and that's how I wound up with this Peperomia.

I know this isn't the best picture, so let me describe it too:

It's got red stems (at least where they've gotten good light), and some of the red continues up into the midvein on the underside of the leaves. The leaves are plain, smooth-edged ovals. The midvein, and a vein on either side of the midvein, are slightly sunken and very obvious. Leaves are very shiny. The habit seems to be semi-trailing, though they're upright for a while.

When I looked on, I found a lot of Peperomia pictures, but none of them seemed like a terribly good match for my plant. It doesn't help that some of the options don't have pictures attached. P. humilis has leaves that come to a sharper point at the end, and the internodes seem shorter on my plant than humilis. P. scandens has the same problems, plus it lacks the red stems.

Of course this assumes that is a reliable source, which it's not entirely. Other pictures of P. scandens from on-line show heart-shaped (cordate) leaves, and other pictures of P. humilis show much smaller leaves than on my plant. Glasshouse Works shows a picture of a P. buntingii that looks like a good match in one picture and completely wrong in the other. Ditto for P. glabella.

So I throw myself on the mercy of the reader. I can definitely rule out clusiifolia, obtusifolia, caperata and pereskiifolia, because I already have all of those and I know what they look like and this isn't them. But beyond that, I not only don't know, I'm not sure who to ask, or what to be looking for. Are there any Peperomia specialists in the house?


Water Roots said...

Well, this is certainly a tough one, but I thought I'd take a stab at it. The only thing I can think of is the 'Peperomia orba', which looks somewhat similar. Is there a prize for the winning suggestion? :)

Hermes said...

I've never grown this but I think P. orba is probably right, CloudJungle have a good range of Pep's and it looks close to their photo:

Not one of my favourite group of plants but I'll be interested to see how it grows with you.

Karen715 said...

I think it is Peperomia glabella, or some variety of that species.
Peperomia_glabella.jpg (I hit enter a couple of times so the URL would fit--there are no spaces between characters.)

On, P. Orba is pictured, and it does not have the kind of ribbed veins or reddish stems that your plant has. is run by a very serious, rather punctilious expert, so I am very trusting of their identifications. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have a pic of P. glabella.

mr_subjunctive said...

I think it's glabella; the picture is a better match than orba, mostly because the leaves on my plant don't come to a sharp point, and the orba in the picture does. Though I'll have to look around some more on that later. (Not feeling well today; came home from work early. Everything is achy, and acetaminophen does nothing. . . .)

K said...

Oh my! I hope that it isn't anything serious, and that you feel better soon.

Colin said...

I don't know what kind of Peperomia you have, but I'd suggest checking these Peperomia and Succulent plant sites.

I found those sites while trying to identify a Peperomia fereyrae cutting I bought. The plant did OK for while, then grew a bit top-heavy and attempted suicide by jumping off a shelf. It broke itself into several pieces, and sadly they all refused to root.

Plantine said...

Excuse me, but I do not speak English very well.
Maybe Peperomia pixie?

victimofchanges said...

^^Pixie it is! Thanks Plantine! Wow, I had no luck in finding what [i]species[/] I was even dealing with when I received some cuttings similar to the NOID in your post. Only last week did I first notice it was sending out "rat tails" and facepalmed myself for not having considered Peperomia beforehand. Getting to ID it as "Pixie" hasn't been readily apparent, either (I didn't know your blog had such a long backlog ;p).