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Piper nigrum


Piper nigrum

Family Name: Piperaceae
Common Name: Common Pepper, Pepper Plant, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Madagascar Pepper, Lada Hitan, 胡椒, 白胡椒, 黑胡椒

Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) is a tropical vine where its fruits are widely used as spices in cookings as well as traditional medicine. This plant grows well under bright but indirect sun with moderate watering and can be propagated via seed, stem cutting or runner.


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3 m to 4.5 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 3 m to 4.5 m


Native Distribution Malabar Coast, Malaya, Java, India
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Woody climber.
Foliage Leaves are typically ovate (egg-shaped) to ovate-oblong (elongated egg shape).
Fruits Round fruits are botanically known as drupes (3-4 mm wide). Ripe fruits are red, while unripened fruits that are dried turn black.
Cultivation Grow under bright but indirect sun. This plant requires support such as trellis or frames. Provide plant with well-drained soil rich in organic matter.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Herb and Spice : The dried pepper is used as food flavoring and preservation.)
Medicinal ( In many Asian countries, pepper is used in folk medicine to treat a variety of conditions, such as colic, rheumatism, headache, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, menstrual pains, excess gas, and urinary problems.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Hanging Basket, Container Planting, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Pest(s) Sucking Insects
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting (Tip), Stolon / Runner


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny, Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Monoecious
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Inflorescence Type Spike
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Green, Black
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth

Image Repository



Master ID 196
Species ID 5262
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 26 September 2021.