Ethnobotany of the Genus <i>Piper</i> (Piperaceae) in Thailand
AbstractThailand is located in the tropical rain forest zone above the equator. This geographically supports very rich biodiversity, including the genus Piper (Piperaceae). Thirty-eight species of Piper, from out of over 1,000 species in the world, have been discovered recently (1998-2006) by the authors. Plant morphology and plant use information were recorded via observation, market surveys, and interviews with traditional healers and local peoples. In this paper we provide ethnobotanical and botanical descriptions and illustrations of eight Piper species that are popularly used among Thai people as vegetables, spices, decoration and medicines and for traditional ceremonies. These species consist of P. betle L., P. longum L., P. nigrum L., P. pendulispicum C.DC., P. retrofractum Vahl, P. sarmentosum Roxb., P. wallichii (Miquel) Handel-Mazetti and a newly described Piper sp.
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