focus on... How many Peperomias?
Since the first description of the genus by Ruiz & Pavón in 1794, 2473 different species names plus another 674 variety and form names have been published. In the meanwhile, 1535 of them are considered as synonyms or otherwise illegitimate names.

Certainly, more of the remaining 1612 accepted names (1437 species and 175 varieties and forms - as to April 2017) will prove to cover the same plant species. The difficulty of taxonomy of a large pantropical plant genus is twofold. A species occurring on different continents tends to show minor adaptations, so it is not always easy to point out if we deal with two species or simply with some intraspecific variation. The second problem is that most taxonomists tend to focus on a specific geographical region. To know if species of different areas are equal, one has to have knowledge of the genus worldwide.

Peperomias are tropical and subtropical plants. Most species are found in northern South America and Central America.

CountryTaxaDensity*
Peru 4055
Colombia2584
Ecuador23614
Costa Rica15549
Mexico1311
Dom. Rep. + Haiti419
Madagascar421
Philippines181
Africa (cont.)210.01
Australia50.01

*Density:density is a coefficient obtained by comparing the number of accepted taxa (here species and varieties) with the country area.

[cited species numbers according to the TRGP (see repertory) - Apr 2017]

 
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