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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Piper (pepper)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > magnoliids > Order: Piperales > Family: Piperaceae

About 1000 species (cosmopolitan in warm regions), with two species native to southern Africa and an additional two species (including Black pepper Piper nigrum) cultivated in southern Africa.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Piper capense (Wild pepper, Bospeper)

Found in forests from Swellendam in the Cape, up the east coast and into tropical Africa.

Piper umbellatum

Pantropical. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, extending as far south as Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Piper betle (Betel pepper)

Native to the Indo-Malesian region. 


Piper nigrum (Pepper)

Native to southern India and Sri Lanka. 


  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.