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A picture of a Black Pepper

Black Pepper

Piper nigrum

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Also known as

Pepper Plant, Green Pepper, White Pepper, Common Pepper, Madagascar Pepper, the King of Spices

Piper nigrum fruits by Vengolis (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Partial Shade
Moderate watering
Half-hardy

H3

RHS hardiness

-5°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

12m

Max

4m

8m

Min

2m

Flowering

More images of Black Pepper

A photo of Black Pepper
Piper Nigrum W2 IMG 2443
Piper nigrum-Sri Lanka
Piper nigrum W IMG 2444
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) 1

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Black Pepper Overview

Piper nigrum is an evergreen, perennial vining climber in the pepper family, Piperaceae. Originating from Southern India, this plant is now cultivated commercially throughout the tropics. Also known by the names Peppercorn Plant, Black Pepper and Common Pepper, the fruits it produces are called peppercorns, from which the widely used spice and seasoning black pepper, green pepper and white pepper are created. These spices have a hot, pungent flavour and are widely used in cooking, black pepper is reported to have anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties and has been used in traditional medicine to treat digestive issues. Typically growing to 10m in height or greater, this plant tends to form a central stem, then grows side shoots, creating a bushy column of foliage. Foliage is alternately arranged on stems, leaves are almond-shaped and taper towards the tip. Flowers are white to yellow-green in colour, arranged in clusters on spike structures, there are between 50-150 individual flowers on a spike. They develop into rounded, berry-like, drupe fruits, each containing a single seed, the fruits measure around 0.6cm and are coloured green when unripe, ripening to red. Usually, 50-60 fruits are produced per flowering spike, the fruits are picked at different development stages to produce different coloured peppers, in order of ripeness: green, black and white.

Special features of Black Pepper

Attractive leaves

Attractive fruits