Primarily tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.
Genera 15, species 2000 (2 genera, 9 species in the flora).
Lepianthes peltata (Linnaeus) Rafinesque, a soft-wooded shrub to ca. 2 m, included by some authors in Piper or Pothomorphe, has been collected as "growing wild" in Dade County, Florida (A. Herndon, pers. comm.). Lepianthes differs from Piper by its erect habit, by having axillary inflorescences, and by the spikes arranged in umbels.
This family should receive careful taxonomic and nomenclatural study.
Candolle, C. de. 1869. Piperaceae. In: A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. de Candolle, eds. 1823-1873. Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis.... 17 vols. Paris etc. Vol. 16, part 1, pp. 235-471.