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Products > Peperomia kimnachii
 
Peperomia kimnachii - Myron's Radiator Plant
   

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Piperaceae (Peppers)
Origin: Bolivia (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: <1 foot
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Peperomia kimnachii (Myron's Radiator Plant) - An unusual sprawling succulent plant that grows at first slightly outwards and then lies horizontal or pendant over a pot with uprightly held 2 inch long bright green oblong-lanceolate revolute succulent leaves that are held in whorl-like clusters (pseudo whorls) spaced every 4 to 6 inches along a sparsely branching thick stem that reaches outward and then pendulously to 3 feet or more. Interestingly the reddish petioles continually realign leaves so only the undersides are directly exposed to light - a case of negative geotropism that is quite curious! At the branch tips arise multiple thin terminal spikes that are reddish below the tiny whitish flowers that are held tight to the spike in a way likened to a rat's tail and that are notably similar to the spadix of an aroid plant. These flowering spikes can be 5 to 10 inches long and emit a strong musty aroma. Plant in morning sun to light shade and irrigate occasionally to regularly. This plant has been hardy for us outdoors in Santa Barbara where it has experienced short duration temperatures down to 31 F. We have only grown this plant in a container so do not know how it would grow in the ground but it makes a very interesting plant trailing container plant in the shade in a mild climate garden. This plant was discovered near Coroico Bolivia at 4,600' during Huntington Botanic Garden trip in 1984 but was not described until the publication of the fall 2000 issue of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America Journal (V.72 N.5) as a new species by Werner Rauh in an article co-authored by Myron Kimnach, the past director of the Huntington Botanic Garden and namesake for this species. The name for the genus name comes from the Greek words 'peperi' meaning "pepper" and 'homoios' meaning "resembling" as the plants resemble the closely related true black pepper, Piper nigrum. We were fortunate to get this plant at the Ganna Walska Lotusland Exceptional Plant Auction in 2014.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Peperomia kimnachii.