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Black pepper (Piper nigrum)

Lada or merica or black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a plant species in Piperaceae, growing climbing, rich in chemical properties for pepper oil, fat oil and starch which are often used as seasonings with a slightly bitter, spicy, warm and antipyretic flavor.

Morphology

P. nigrum has a trunk that climbs on a pole, sometimes also spreads on the ground surface and can reach 15 m long but in cultivation will be cut to leave 2.75-3 meters. Diameter 6-25 mm and is segmented to length 4-7 cm depending on the level of fertility. The segment at the base is usually shorter.

Dlium Black pepper (Piper nigrum)

Soil roots grow on underground stems with 10-20 strands, small and short in size, while aerial roots grow on each segment with 10-25 strands, 2.5-3.5 cm long and are used to attach themselves to the support.

The orthotropy branch grows from the armpit of the leaf on the stem segment in the soil and above the ground. Plagiatrop branches grow from branches and will grow after fruiting twice. The more plagiatrop branches, the more fruit will grow.

Branches that grow normally will be the growth media for flowers and fruit. The branch has a length of 35-65 cm, grows vertically, but will turn horizontal when the fruit is ripe and finally nod to bear the weight of the fruit.

Black pepper leaf buds are covered in scales, springy and stemmed. Adult leaves are ovoid, pointed tip, the top surface is shiny dark green, the bottom surface is pale green, 12-18 cm long and 5-10 cm wide. The leaves that grow on the upper trunk are usually longer.



Cultivation

Lada grows well at an altitude of 0-700 m in the tropics with 1,000-3,000 mm/year of rainfall and is evenly distributed throughout the year for 110-170 days/year with a dry season of only 2-3 months/year. Humidity 63-98%, temperature 20-35C, sandy and loose soil, good drainage and pH 5.0-6.5.

At least 40 varieties of P. nigrum in Indonesia, but farmers only plant a few varieties depending on the characteristics of the region or island. Each variety has advantages and disadvantages in pest and disease resistance where farmers choose the varieties that are most suitable for cultivation.

Plants are harvested after 3 years and are more productive for up to 8 years, but good maintenance will continue to be productive for up to 15 years or more. Since the flowers come out until the ripe fruit takes 7-9 months.

The young fruit is bright green, then turns dark green and reddish yellow. Black pepper is a fruit that is dried with the skin, while white pepper is a fruit that is dried after going through the process of soaking and stripping.

Content and utilization

White pepper has a more spicy taste but is not as rich as the taste of black pepper which has a more complex taste. The spicy flavor is formed by piperin, piperanin and chavicin. The aroma comes from essential oils consisting of several terpenes, protein, carbohydrates and piperin.

Merica was first known as a spice, but nowadays it is also for traditional and modern health. Pepper oil is widely used for diaphoretic, carminativ, diuretics, increased appetite, increased digestive and rheumatic glands.

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

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