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Peperomia obtusifolia

Phonetic Spelling
pep-eh-ROH-mee-ah ob-too-sih-FOH-lee-ah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Pepper Face is a tropical evergreen herbaceous shrub that is erect and bushy and grows up to 2' tall. The glossy cupped, obovate leaves on branched, distinct stems and petioles that are usually tinged pink are key ID features. Leaf attachment is a sub-peltate. This plant is commonly used as an interior specimen or desktop plant. This plant tolerates low light for several months without stress, especially non-variegated cultivars. It is intolerant of wet soil, very dry soil, or very drafty sites. This plant prefers bright indirect light, dry soil, and medium to low relative humidity. Sunlight that is too strong or direct will burn the leaves. This plant has no serious pest or disease problems and is commonly grown as a houseplant.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are obovate, cupped, glossy
  • Stems are distinct and branched
  • Petioles and stems are usually tinged pink and red
  • Inflorescence is a cream-colored spike

 

VIDEO Created by Laura Barth for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'USA'
    Variegated leaves in patches of several shades
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
'USA', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#poisonous#houseplant#perennials#showy leaves#interiorscape#variegated leaves#low maintenance#pet friendly#herbaceous perennials#fantz#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#hsc#hsc-f
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'USA'
    Variegated leaves in patches of several shades
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
'USA', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#poisonous#houseplant#perennials#showy leaves#interiorscape#variegated leaves#low maintenance#pet friendly#herbaceous perennials#fantz#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#hsc#hsc-f
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Peperomia
    Species:
    obtusifolia
    Family:
    Piperaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico and South America
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Open
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a, 12b, 12a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Insignificant
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Inconspicuous
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Insignificant
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are white-cream in color and minute, having no petals. They are crowded on an erect spike (spadix) that is 3.5-5" long. Flowers have 2 stamens and 0 perianths.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cuneate
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Obtuse
    Orbicular
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, obovate, obtuse to emarginate, cuneate, entire, concave, coriaceous, waxy, glossy green, and sub-peltate. They can grow 2-6" long and have pinnate venation, the midrib indented into the leaf surface. Petioles are short, less than an inch in size, often pink or red, and somewhat winged. The leaves are almost as thick as those of succulents. They are often variegated or have red leaf margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are branched, stoloniferous, and ascend up to 6". May be reddish to pinkish in color and are succulent in texture.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN. No known cases in humans, but toxic to some animals.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves