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Piper sarmentosum Roxb. ex W.Hunter

Family Name: Piperaceae
Synonyms: Chavica sarmentosa, Piper brevicaule
Common Name: Wild Pepper, Wild Betel, Kadok, Kaduk, Daun Kaduk, Chabei, Sri Tanah, Chaa Phluu, La Lot, Akar Bugu, Sirih Duduk, 假蒟, 细叶青萎藤, 青蒟
Semi Shade Lots of Water Moderate Water Native to Singapore Fruit or Vegetable Herb or Spice Indoor Plant Suitable for Roadsides Fragrant Plant Ornamental Leaves Creeper


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Creeper
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 0.3 m to 0.6 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 0.3 m


Native Distribution Southern China, India, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest, Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a sprawling herbaceous creeper, with erect stems at intervals, growing close to the ground and forming mounds of up to 60 cm in height. The stems are slightly hairy.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have leaf blades that are heart-shaped, glossy dark green, and 7–15 by 5–13 cm, with 5–7 prominent veins. The leaves emit a pungent peppery scent when crushed.
Flowers Its erect, cylindrical flowering shoots are 1–2 cm long, and consist of small, stalkless and petal-less white male or female flowers. Species is monoecious, where male and female flowers are produced on different spikes on the same plant. The male flower spikes are 6 mm long, while the female flower spikes are longer and denser (12 mm long).
Fruits Its one-seeded fruits are small aggregated nodular drupes formed from female spikes, maturing to deep green.
Habitat It grows in thickets, and forests up to 1,000 m altitude.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves, Edible Flowers, Edible Stems)
Food (Herb and Spice : Leaves sliced and added into a herb and rice dish called Nasi Ulam or Nasi Kerabu in northern states of Peninsular Malaysia. Dried flower inflorescence used as spice.;Fruit & Vegetable : Young leaves and shoots eaten raw and dipped in sambal as salad. Leaves also used to wrap snacks or used as lining to prepare appetizers like otak-otak (spicy fish paste). )
Medicinal ( Whole plant believed to be medicinal. Leaves boiled in water and taken to treat coughs, flu and malarial fever. Leaves also chewed with betel nut and swallowed as remedy for coughs and asthma. Leaves pounded and used as poultice for headaches. Leaf decoction applied as body rub for body aches. Roots crushed with salt and used to relieve toothache by Chinese and Thais. Plant also taken for diuretic and antioxidant properties. Reported to reduce blood sugar and improve diabetes.)
[Others]: The Ambionese mix the plant with tumeric into laundrey water so that the washed clothes would be scented.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It has attractive glossy dark green leaves. It makes a good border plant or ground cover for shaded to semi-shaded sites.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits, Fragrant (Foliage)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Easy to Grow, Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, General, Flowerbed / Border, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Groundcover
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)
Species record last updated on: 24 February 2022.