This is a very large genus containing hundreds of species. Those best known and most useful to the florist are P. maculosa, P. marmorata, P. pubifolia and P. Saundersii (often known as P. arifolia argyreia). They are from tropical South America, which stamps them as plants that like heat, but they endure a greenhouse temperature for weeks without any apparent harm. A pan of these beautiful little plants is very attractive and their fleshy, succulent leaves enable them to withstand the dry air of a living-room better than the vast majority of our plants.
They need shade in the summer but none in the winter and should never be kept too wet. A lumpy, loose soil with a mixture of broken charcoal, or even broken crocks, will suit them well, and a pan three or four inches deep is better for them than a deep pot. The best specimen of P. maculosa I ever saw was growing on a rockwork at the side of the path in a palm house where it received plenty of moisture but no superfluous water at the roots.
They are easily propagated in sand or sandy soil in a bottom heat of 75 degrees, either by the leaf, as you do Begonia Rex, or with an inch or so of the stem attached. Early spring is the best time to propagate.
The flowers of all are inconspicuous; it is the ornamental leaves that make the plant valuable. P. pubifolia is well adapted for a hanging basket. P. maculosa makes a fine subject for a pan, and the beautiful species illustrated herewith makes a compact plant of great beauty. All the species that are desirable for the commercial florist can be said to be of easy culture.
Peperomia Saundersii (P. Arifolia Argyreia).