Although it also makes a most attractive flowering vine, this plant, native to India and other south eastern Asian countries, is usually cultivated for its fruits which are dried, and usually powdered, and used as a spice and seasoning. When fully mature they dry dark red and are known as peppercorns and have been used since antiquity for both flavour and as a medicine. The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine, which is not the same as the capsaicins in fleshy peppers. Black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, pink pepper, and red pepper are all differently-preserved berries or seeds of the same plant!
These seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and should be sown into a well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered thinly with sand or grit and kept moist. Keep at between 20-25 degrees C. Seeds sometimes germinate within 4 to 6 weeks although some may take very much longer so please be patient. Plant out in the open ground in warmer countries or in a large container elsewhere.
Common name:Pepper vine. Black peppercorn