Piper caninum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Piper caninum Blume

Family: Piperaceae


  • Piper banksii Miquel,
  • P. lauterbachii C. DC.,
  • P. macrocarpum C. DC.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: mrican
  • Malaysia: sireh hutan, lada hantu, chambai
  • Philippines: buyo-buyo (Bicol), detid (Igorot), tampadan (Manobo)
  • Vietnam: tiêu chó


Widely distributed in Malesia through New Guinea to the Solomon Islands and Australia; occasionally also cultivated. Perhaps occurring also in Vietnam.


The Besisi people in Malaysia use the fruit as a favourite flavouring. Leaves are chewed as a substitute for betel. It is also chewed to treat hoarseness. After childbirth the leaves are applied to wash the mother. Fruits are used as an adulterant for cubebs, but they are smaller and smell of anise.


  • Dioecious climber with pilose twigs and petioles.
  • Leaf blade ovate, 14 cm × 7 cm, length/width ratio 2/1.
  • Female inflorescence up to as long as the leaves, flowers with 4-fid stigmas; male inflorescence often longer than the leaves. Infructescence often longer than the leaves.
  • Fruit a berry, ovoid to globose, 4 mm × 3 mm, red.

P. caninum is a slender lowland climber of mixed forest and in village thickets, very common in Java. A strongly pubescent form in Java has been described as P. lowong Blume, but is not a different species. P. lanatum Roxb. is used similarly to P. caninum and is probably the same species.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr, R.C., 1963-1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Wolters‑Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. Vol. 1 (1963), 647 pp., Vol. 2 (1965), 641 pp., Vol. 3 (1968), 761 pp.
  • Koorders, S.H., 1911-1937. Exkursionsflora von Java [Excursion flora of Java]. 4 volumes. Gustav Fischer, Jena, Germany.
  • Wee-Lek Chew, 1972. The genus Piper (Piperaceae) in New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Australia, 1. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 53: 1-25.


P.C.M. Jansen