(Vol. 06, 2003-12) Peperomia Hobbitoides (Piperaceae), a New Species of Karstophile from the Rain Forests of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico
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Peperomia hobbitoides is described as a new species from karst rain forests of extreme southeastern Veracruz, Mexico. The new species grows directly on outcrops of karstic limestone, sprouting from corms lying in tiny soil pockets of ledges, depressions, and holes in the rock. It may be distinguished from all previously described species of Peperomia of Mexico and Central America by the combination of the small perennial corm, the broadly ovate acuminate-tipped leaves with cordate bases and campylodromous venation, and the ellipsoid fruit 1.5-2.0 times as long as thick with a distinct narrow apical appendage ca. 0.15-0.3 mm long. The herbage of the new species has a strong fragrance and flavor of fresh coriander (cilantro) and is eaten by inhabitants of the area. Peperomia hobbitoides is most similar morphologically to P. asarifolia Schltdl. & Cham. and P. bernoullii C. DC. but is easily distinguished from both.