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NZ Plants

Piper melchior - Three Kings kawakawa

Pepper family: Piperaceae

Piper melchior is a many branched shrub easily distinguished from P. excelsum by its large thick leaves with pronounced leaf veining. The veins are recessed producing a three-dimensional or sculptured (bullate) leaf surface.
An endemic species found on the Three Kings Islands.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: shrub up to 2 m

Arrangement of parts: symmetric


Flower size: 2-3 mm diam

Leaf form: undivided, circular

Sepals: 0

Leaf size: 60-150 mm

Petals: 0

Leaf arrangement: singly along stem

Sexuality: unisexual

Leaf attachment: sheathing; stipules


Leaf margin: smooth

Ovary: above petals

Leaf surface: hairless

Fruit: fleshy