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| La Lot or Piper Sarmentosum? |
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Phyllis
Posted on: September 29, 2010
I have ordered several La Lot plants from you and they are growing nicely -- I have them in pots so that I can take them in when the weather grows cold and I have a stake in the pot so they can twine. They seem happy. What can you tell me about the La Lot plants that you sell? You list the name as piper lalot but on some web sites they give the botanical name as piper sarmentosum. Is it the same plant with just two different names? I want the true lalot not the betel leaf used for chewing betel.
The Piper genus is large, with some 1000-2000 species having been named. The genus includes some of the most important food and medicine plants of the world, including black pepper (Piper nigrum) and kava kava (Piper methylisticum). Some of the names are undoubtedly synonyms, but as far as we can tell from available taxonomic references Piper lolot and Piper sarmentosum are two distinct plants. Why it is that some websites are saying that la lot is P. sarmentosum, I do not know.
By the way, betel leaf is Piper betle, a different plant altogether.