Peperomia obtusifolia

Peperomia obtusifolia, also known as the baby rubberplant, American rubber plant, or pepper face, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Peperomia under the family Piperaceae, native to Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean.[1][2] The specific epithet obtusifolia means "blunt-leaved".[3] The plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]

Peperomia obtusifolia
Peperomia obtusifolia 3-OB9.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Magnoliids
Order: Piperales
Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Peperomia
P. obtusifolia
Binomial name
Peperomia obtusifolia


The baby rubberplant is an evergreen perennial growing to 25 cm (10 in) tall and broad with cupped leathery leaves and narrow spikes of white flowers up to 12 cm (5 in) long, which grow in a shiny, winding manner and constitute the main decorative value of the plant.[5]

P. obtusifolia is often confused with Peperomia magnoliifolia, and some earlier botanists considered these two names merely synonyms for the same species. As dried specimens, the plants can look highly similar, though the difference can be seen more easily with living plants: P. obtusifolia leaves are waxy, while P. mangoliifolia leaves are considered fleshy. Due to the confusion, plants in collections or on sale may be falsely labelled.[6]


With a minimum temperature of 15 °C (59 °F), the baby rubberplant must be grown indoors in most temperate regions. Although it needs high humidity, it does not require much care. Good lighting is enough to maintain the bright and intense colour of the leaves, though direct light causes discoloration. The stem is fleshy, so the plant does not need abundant or frequent watering. A popular houseplant, numerous cultivars have been developed, some of which show leaf variegation.[7]

Pests and diseasesEdit

In general, the baby rubberplant is a resistant plant, though it can have problems with aphids and mealybugs. As with most houseplants, excessive watering can cause root rot.[8]



  1. ^ "Missouri Botanical Garden - Peperomia obtusifolia". Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  2. ^ "Peperomia obtusifolia". NC State University. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  3. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
  4. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 75. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  5. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  6. ^ "Peperomia obtusifolia". Flora of the Guianas. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Peperomia obtusifolia". Retrieved 25 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Dawid Longman: Nurturing house plants . Warsaw: PWR and L, 1997. ISBN 83-09-01559-3