San Marcos GrowersSan Marcos Growers
New User?
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
 Web Site Search
Plant Database
Search by Plant Name
  General Plant Info
Search for any word
  Advanced Search >>
Search by size, origins,
color, cultural needs, etc.
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings

PLANT TYPE
PLANT GEOGRAPHY
PLANT INDEX
ALL PLANT LIST
PLANT IMAGE INDEX
PLANT INTROS
SPECIALTY CROPS
NEW  2017 PLANTS
PRIME LIST>
  for AUGUST


 Weather Station

 
Products > Piper elongatum
 
Piper elongatum - Matico
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Piperaceae (Peppers)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Piper elongatum (Matico) - An upright shrub to 10 feet with 6 inch long lanceolate leaves that are green on the upper surface and silvery below. Plant in coastal full sun or shade and irrigate regularly to occasionally - surprisingly drought tolerant considering its origins. Has proven hardy with overhead protection to 25F and likely root hardy well below this. This is an interesting and aromatic plant that lends a somewhat tropical look to the garden. It is native to forests 3,200 to 9,200 feet in elevation in Bolivia and Peru. The name of the genus is the Latin word for Pepper (Piper nigrum) and the specific epithet is the Latin word meaning "elongated" in reference to the long narrow leaves. The common name Matico is supposed to be a reference to legend regarding an early Spanish soldier by this name who used the herd to treat a wound. This name has been used for this species as well as Piper aduncum and P. angustifolium and these are lumped by some into Piper aduncum. This plant was plant long held as a unidentified Piper species in the collection of the biology greenhouses at UCSB. It was a seedling that emerged on the root mass of another plant collected by Bill Gielow in Bolivia or Peru in 1982. Mr Gielow, who was collecting for noted bulb hybridizer the late Fred Meyers, was accompanied by Bill Baker, another Southern California plantsman we sorely miss. In 2008 we ran this plant by Dr. Allan Bornstein, who did his Ph.D dissertation at University of Michigan on "Taxonomy and evolutionary relationships of neotropical pipers" and is now a Professor of Biology at Missouri State. Dr. Bornstein told us that the correct name currently accepted for this plant in is Piper elongatum Vahl though noted disagreement in the literature as to whether this species is truly distinct from Piper aduncum but at that time he thought it merited to be a separate species and noted it abundant in Bolivia and Peru, primarily at higher elevations.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Piper elongatum.