Black Pepper is the dried mature berry of Piper nigrum, a climbing, perennial shrub mostly found in the hot, moist regions of Southern India. Under cultivation pepper vines are trailed over support as columns, 5-6 meter tall, 1-2 meter diameter. The climbing woody stems have swollen nods with clinging roots at each node, which helps in anchoring the vine to the support trees (standards). It has a straight upward growing main stem and has lateral shoots from the axils of the leaves having shorter inter nodes without adventitious roots. In such branches, the terminal buds get modified into an inflorescence (spike) and the auxiliary buds continue further growth.
The root system is confined to a 75-100 cm radius and depth. The inflorescence is a pendent spike, 3-15 cm long with 50-150 flowers. Flowers are minute, white pale yellow, arranged spirally on fleshy pedantries. The species is naturally self-pollinated and pollen dispersal is aided by the presence of water droplets. Fruit is a single-seeded drupe often called berry. It is spherical in shape, green in color, changing to red on ripping.