As set out by Willis (1973) this Family runs to four genera only, of which Peperomia, with around 1,000 species, is by far the largest (9.2). A relative of pepper, it is centred in tropical South America but extends widely, and many species grow as epiphytes. To our window-sills it contributes some tough, long-lived, leathery-leaved foliage plants, at home in full sun or shade so long as they are kept warm. There is no sharp division between the non-succulent and succulent species: all have a tendency to fleshiness. P. dolabriformis has curious hatchet-shaped leaves with a translucent strip or "window" along the narrow upper margins; in P. asperula leaves of similar shape are rough from surface papillae. Very attractive miniatures are P. galioides and P. columella. The flowers are minute and borne on terminal, tail-like spikes.
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