Author: Jan Scholten
Region: South Pacific Islands; Piper capense from Africa.
Macropiperoideae: includes ± 10 species
Botany: shrubs, small trees; mostly dioecious.
Leaves: mostly ovate, palmately nerved, basally obtuse to deeply cordate; petioles are sheathing. Inflorescences: often crowded in short axillary branches, appearing as umbels, similar to those of the Pothomorphe clade.
Flowers: loosely arranged in the inflorescences, associated with peltate floral bracts.
Fruits: free, but in Piper excelsum they are concrescent with the rachis.
Taxonomy: Macropiper was first described by Miquel. Most subsequent classifications recognized Macropiper at the genus or subgenus level. Molecular sequence data suggest that Macropiper is a distinctive clade within Piperaceae. Piper capense was regarded as the core member of Coccobryon. Our results suggest that Piper capense is part of the Macropiper clade.
Pothomorphe clade includes ± 10 species
Botany: herbs or shrubs, self-supporting or climbing.
Leaves: palmately nerved, except Piper auritum pinnately; basally obtuse or cordate, but peltate in Piper peltatum, sheathing petioles.
Inflorescence: dense, forming banding patterns.
Fruits: free and obovoid.
Taxonomy: two subclades
1. Pothomorphe s.s., including the Pothomorphe and Piper auritum; with inflorescences umbellate.
2. Piper marginatum complex: shrubs, erect or sarmentose; leaves palmately nerved, basally obtuse or cordate; flowers tightly arranged in the inflorescences forming banding patterns; fruits free and obovoid.
Pothomorphe has long been considered a distinct genus of the Piperaceae, receiving the names Lepianthes and Heckeria.