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Cabe jawa (Piper retrofractum)

Javanese long pepper or Java chili or cabe jawa (Piper retrofractum) is an annual plant species, growing up to 10 m long and wrapped around to follow a climbing pole or rocks, irregular branching that starts from a hard base and resembles wood.

P. retrofractum has roots that grow from seeds to absorb water and nutrients, spread into the soil to form vertical and horizontal branches, while sticky roots grow on the stem sections to attach to the surface of trees or rocks.

Cabe jawa (Piper retrofractum)

Sticky roots form a limited branching with cylindrical shape, elongated, 0.7-1.0 mm in diameter, 1-2.5 cm long and usually each plant has 4-9 roots. The white root shoots then turn light brown, but will dry up if they don't get a bond on the surface of the object.

The main trunk forms tendrils, tubular with a diameter of 0.1-0.5 cm, extending with a distance of 3-9 cm and each of them grows sticky roots and branches. The surface is initially smooth and then rough when it's old.

Productive branches grow in the armpits of the leaves on the main stem, segments do not have roots but flowers and leaves will appear where the layout of the fruit and leaves will face or cross.

Single leaf, 0.5-3 cm long stalk, round shape with slightly pointed tip, flat edge, pinnate bone, slippery top surface, bottom surface speckled, thick, green, length 8.5-30 cm and width 3 -13 cm.





Flower unisexual, arranged in grains that grow upright or slightly ducked, stems 0.5-2 cm long, protective leaves are ovoid to elliptical, 1-2 mm, yellow during development, female ears 1.5-3 cm, pistil head 2-3 cm, short and blunt.

Changes in the color of the crown indicate pollination, although it is not known whether the pollination ends in fertilization. The flower heads after pollination will grow and develop over time to a diameter of 4.5-6.1 mm at the top and 9 mm-100 mm at the bottom with a length of 3-5.2 cm.

Compound fruit, has a long stalk of 2 cm, hard, clustered regularly, elliptical to cylindrical shape with a narrow tip and a bright red color. The structure of the fruit has a light green pith, surrounded by 80-135 seeds and will enlarge to push out the surface of the fruit.

The seeds are round, ivory yellow and 1 mm in diameter. The fruit has a spicy taste by the compound piperin. Discoloration after gradual pollination from ivory yellow, dark green-brown, red ending and soft texture when ripe.

Cabe jawa grows wild in places with no moist soil in the tropics at an altitude of 600 m, likes andosols, grumosols, latosols, podsolic and regosols, also soils containing limestone, shallow and rocky layers, pH 5.5-7, temperature 20 -34C, rainfall 1500-3000 mm/year and humidity 60-80%.

The fruit contains piperine, chavicin, palmetik acid, tetrahydropiperic acid, 1-undecylenyl-3, 4-methylenedioxy benzene, piperidine, essential oils, N-isobutyldekatrans-2 trans-4-dienamide, saponins and sesamin. The root section contains piperin, piplartin, pipernonalin and piperlonguminin.

Pipernonalin kills A. aegypti and C. quinquefasciatus larvae. Piperin inhibits B. cereus and E. coli. The essential oil component contains eugenol as larvicide. The oil is volatile without decomposition, pungent taste, fragrant, soluble in organic solvents and insoluble in water and used as a pesticide.

Javanese people use P. retrofractum for mouthwash, treat abdominal pain, antibacterial and antifungal for S. epidermidis, S. aureus, B. subtilis, Micrococcus luteus and E. coli.

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Piperales
Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Piper
Species: Piper retrofractum

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