Pilea peperomioides

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Chinese Money Plant
Pilea peperomioides Chinese money plant.jpg
Pilea peperomioides and offspring
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Pilea
Species: P. peperomioides
Diels, 1912
Binomial name
Pilea peperomioides

Pilea peperomioides, known as Chinese money plant, pancake plant, lefse plant, or missionary plant, is a species of flowering plants in the family Urticaceae, native to Yunnan Province in southern China. Growing to 30 cm (12 in) tall and wide, it is an erect, succulent, evergreen perennial, with round, dark green, peltate leaves up to 10 cm (4 in) in diameter on a long petiole.[1]

P. peperomioides was first collected by George Forrest in 1906, and again in 1910, in the Cangshan mountain range in Yunnan Province.

In 1945 the species was rediscovered by Norwegian missionary Agnar Espegren in Yunnan Province when he was fleeing from Hunan Province. Espegren took cuttings with him back to Norway, by way of India, in 1946 and from there it was spread throughout Scandinavia.

P. peperomioides is an example of a plant which has been spread amongst amateur gardeners via cuttings, without being well-known to botanists. Its true identity was not finally established until the 1980s. The first known published image appeared in the Kew magazine in 1984.[2]

With a minimum temperature of 10 °C (50 °F), in temperate regions P. peperomioides is cultivated as a houseplant. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[3]

See Also[edit]

  • Lunaria annua, also known colloquially as the Chinese money plant in the United States, for its large, flat, silvery seedpods.


  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ "A Chinese puzzle solved - Pilea peperomioides". Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pilea peperomioides". Retrieved 30 June 2013.