Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is a small drupe approximately five millimetres in diameter, dark red when fully mature, containing a single seed. Peppercorns, and the powdered pepper derived from grinding them, may be described as black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, and very often simply pepper. The terms pink peppercorns, red pepper (as in bell or chile), and green pepper (as in bell or chile) are also used to describe the fruits of other, unrelated plants. However, green peppercorns are simply the immature black peppercorns.
Black pepper is native to South India (Tamil:milagu, மிளகு; Kannada:meNasu, ಮೆಣಸು; Malayalam:kurumulaku, കുരുമുളക്; Telugu:miriyam, మిరియం; Konkani:miriya konu, Marathi: Miri मिरी) and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Black pepper is also cultivated in the Coorg area of Karnataka.