The Piperaceae are a large family of plantswith approximately 3,600 speciesdivided at present in five genera. The members of the Piperaceae family are perennial or annual plants, primarily shrubs, lianas, and rarely trees. They are spread mainly in the tropical regions ofSouth America and East India.
Their stems are simple or branched. The leaves are simple arranged at the basis of the plant or along the stem, alternate or opposite, without stipules.The flowers are small usually without a perianth, bisexual orunisexual, gathered in ear-shapedinflorescences.The pollinationis anemophilic (wind assisted pollination). The fruit is a drupe. The better part of the members belongs in two main genera: Piper (2,000 species) andPeperomia (1,600 species).The most popular plant in this family is black pepper (Piper nigrum L.), used as a spice.