Varieties of Black Pepper

Crop name: 
Document Type: 



Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is grown mainly for their berry which is extensively used as spice and in medicine. It is cultivated to a large extent in Kerala and Karnataka and to a limited extent in Tamil Nadu and other states. Over 100 cultivars of pepper have been reported from Kerala and Karnataka. Local cultivar diversity is the richest in Kerala, followed by Karnataka. Unlike the wild forms of P.nigrum, which are mostly dioecious, most cultivated ones are bisexual. Intra-cultivar variability has also been reported in the case of certain local cultivars grown extensively.


Name of Hybrid/ Variety Pedigree Released From  Average Yield- dry (Kg/ha) Quality Attributes (%) Dry Recovery %  Characteristics Areas of adaptability
Oleoresin Piperine Essential Oil
Panniyur-1 F1 of Uthirankotta X Cheriyakaniyakadan  Pepper Research Station, Panniyur.1966.  1242.0 11.8 5.3 3.5 35.3 The first hybrid pepper variety developed in the world. Early bearing and vigorous growing type with non-pigmented growing tip. Spikes are long  with bold berries which are close set and high in oleoresin content.   Suitable to all pepper growing regions, but do not tolerate heavily shaded areas. Performs well under open situations. 
Panniyur-2 Clonal selection from open pollinated progeny of 'Balankotta'  Pepper Research Station, Panniyur. 1990. 2570.0 10.9 6.6 3.4 35.7 High yielding, vigorous growing type with no pigmentation on the growing tip. Rich in oleoresin and piperine contents. Tolerant to shade.   Suited to all pepper growing areas of Kerala. Suitable for intercropping. 
Panniyur-3 F1 of Uthirankotta x Cheriyakaniyakadan Pepper Research Station,Panniyur. 1990. 1953.0 12.7 5.2 3.1 27.8 High yielding, vigorous growing variety with faint pigmentation of the growing tip. Late maturity group. Spikes are long with bold berries rich in oleoresin.  Suited to all pepper growing tracts of Kerala. Performs well in open conditions. 
Panniyur-4 Clonal selection from Kuthiravally type II Pepper Research Station, Panniyur. 1990. 1277.0 9.2 4.4 2.1 34.7 High and Stable yielder. Performs well under a variety adverse conditions including partial shade. Late in harvest.  Suited to all growing areas in  Kerala.
Panniyur-5 Open pollinated progeny of Perumkodi  Pepper Research Station, Panniyur. 1996. 1107.0 12.3 5.3 3.8 35.7 Shade tolerant and long spiked variety. Oleoresin content moderately high. Medium maturity. Tolerant to nursery diseases.  
Better suited for mixed cropping in arecanut/coconut gardens. It can be cultivated in all pepper growing regions. 
Panniyur-6 Clonal selection from Karimunda Pepper Research Station,  Panniyur. 2001.  2127.0 8.3 4.9 1.3 33.0 High yielding, Produce more number of spikes per unit area with close setting and attractive bold medium berries. Vigorous vine, gives steady and stable yield. Tolerant to drought and adverse climatic conditions. Not susceptible to major pests and diseases including Phytophthora foot rot. Performs well under open as well as partial shaded conditions and are suited for all pepper growing regions of Kerala. 
Panniyur-7 Open pollinated progeny of Kalluvally Pepper Research Station,  Panniyur.2001.  1410.0 10.6 5.6 1.5 33.6 Vigorous, hardy and a regular bearer. Stable yielder with very long spike and high piperine content. Tolerant to Phytophthora foot rot and adverse climatic conditions.   Recommended for all growing tracts of Kerala under open as well as partial shaded conditions.  
Sreekara Clonal selection from Karimunda (KS 14) IISR, Calicut, 1990 2677.0 13.0 5.3 7.0 35.0 Gives high quality pepper with high oleoresin content.  Leaves ovate. Adaptable to various climatic conditions.   All pepper growing tracts of Kerala and Southern Karnataka
Subhakara Selection from Karimunda (KS 27) IISR, Calicut, 1990 2352.0 12.4 3.4 6.0 35.5 A high quality line with wider adaptability. High in oleoresin content. Leaves ovate.  All pepper growing tracts of Kerala and Southern Karnataka
Panchami Selection from Aimpiriyan (Coll.856) IISR, Calicut, 1991 2828.0 12.5 4.7 3.4 34.0 A high yielding variety with excellent fruit set. Late maturing. Spike twisted in appearance. Leaves ovate. Oleoresin content is high. All pepper growing tracts of Kerala and Karnataka. But, may not be suited to drought prone regions. 
Pournami Selection from Ottaplackal (coll.812) IISR, Calicut, 1991 2333.0 13.8 4.1 3.4 31.0 A moderately high yielding vine with high oleoresin content. Ovate-lanceolate leaves. Tolerant to root knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita). All pepper growing tracts of Kerala and South Karnataka.
PLD-2 Clonal selection from Kottanadan(Coll.2559) CPCRI, Palode, 1996 2475.0 15.45 3.0 4.8 31.13 Late maturity, high quality cultivar.  Oleoresin content is very high. Leaves ovate.  Suitable for plains and higher elevations. Recommended for Trivandrum and Kollam districts of Kerala
IISR Thevam  Clonal selection of Thevamundi IISR, Calicut, 2004 2481.0 8.15 1.65 3.1 32.5 Vines grow vigorously, Stable yielding. Tolerant to Phytophthora foot rot diseases.   Suited to high altitudes and plains
IISR Girimunda Hybrid between Narayakodi x Neelamundi IISR, Calicut, 2004 2880.0 9.65 2.2 3.4 32.0 A medium maturity group.  Suitable for high altitude areas and are recommended for rainfed conditions including tea and coffee estates. 
IISR Malabar Excel Hybrid between Cholamundi x Panniyur-1  IISR, Calicut, 2004 1440.0 14.6 4.95 4.1 32.0 High in oleoresin content.  Suitable for high elevation and plains. 
IISR Shakthi Open pollinated progeny of Perambramundi IISR, Calicut 2253.0 10.2 3.3 3.7 43.0 Tolerant to Phytophthora capsici Both plains and high ranges under rain fed conditions.


Cultivar Fresh mean yield (Kg/vine) Oleoresin (%) Piperine (%) Essential Oil (%) Dry Recovery (%) Agricultural Performance Morphological characteristics Special Attributes
Aimpiriyan 4-5 15 4.7 2.6 34 High Yielding, high fruit set, good in quality, late maturing, Vigorous vines.  Leaves are large, cordate with even margin. Spikes with closely set berries.  Performance excellent in higher elevations.
Arakulam munda 2 9.8 4.4 4.7 33 Moderate and regular bearer. Early bearing, Medium in quality.  Large ovate leaves with wavy margins. The spikes are medium-long and the berries are bold and heavy.  Well adapted.  
Balankotta 1-2 9.3 4.2 5.1 35 Vigorous, bisexual cultivar with large droopy leaves. Moderate, early, and irregular bearer. Medium in quality.   The vines are large growing to the top of the supporting trees. The leaves are very large, elliptical, light green and drooping with even margins. Spikes long, straight with loosely packed bold, pale green berries.  Somewhat tolerant to Phytophthora wilt. Oil content is high and so has a very high flavour quality. Suited to shaded localities. 
Cheriyakaniyakadan 9 3.9 3.7 30 Popular, high quality, bisexual variety. Moderate and regular bearer.  Produce white tender leaves but mature leaves are dark green, medium sized and elliptic. Spikes are of medium length, closely set with medium sized dark green fruits. Wilt resistant.
Kalluvally 1-2 8.4-11.8 2.5-5.4 3 35-38 Hardy and regular yielder, medium quality with high dry recovery.  Plant is bushy, leaves dark green, ovate and with even margin. The spikes are short, twisted with close set small to medium sized dark green berries. Drought and wilt tolerant. Widely grown variety of Malabar region. Grown alone or mixed with other varieties. 
Karimunda 2-3 11 4.4 4 35 Popular, bisexual cultivar. Quick growing with early and regular bearing. High yield and medium quality.  Leaves are small, dark green, oval or circular in shape with even margin. The spikes are of medium length, curved and  closely set with dark green and medium sized berries. Spiking intensity high.   Shade tolerant. Suitable for most of the black pepper growing areas. Suited for intercropping and also for high density monocropping.  
Kottanadan 5 17.8 6.6 2.5-4.2 34-35 A very popular, high yielding, high quality cultivar from South Kerala, regular bearing. Vigorous growing and bisexual.  Leaves are medium sized and ovate with even margin. Spikes long straight, closely set with dark green medium sized berries. Drought tolerant type. High oleoresin and piperine content.  
Kuthiravally 3 15 6 4.5 35 A bisexual cultivar with long spikes, high yield and good quality. Alternate bearer.  The leaves medium sized and ovate. The spikes are long with a bend at the stalk end. The berries are large, closely set on the spikes and elliptical in shape. South Kerala type, found in many pepper growing areas throughout Kerala. 
Narayakodi 1-2 11 5.4 4 36 Popular in South Kerala, Quick growing, early and regular bearer with high yield and quality. The leaves are small, ovate with wavy margins. Spikes short and twisted, closely set with medium sized, dark green fruits. The persistent stigmatic base looks like a pin, hence the name.    Not easily affected by foot rot. 
Vadakkan 3 10.8 4.2 3.2 A triploid cultivar. Vigorous, medium in quality and yield with relatively large berries.  Leaves large, ovate and thick. Stem bold and spike loose with very bold berries. …..

Other Important Local Cultivars:

Cultivar Agricultural Performance Morphological characteristics
Cheriakodi Dwarf and sturdy type, bearing in alternate years, quality high.   Leaves narrow, ellipsoidal with well marked veins and dark green in colour; Spikes short with closely set dark or pale green berries. The berries are smallest among all the types.
Chola  A popular bisexual variety.  Leaves medium sized, drooping, elliptical. Spikes are curved and medium in length.  
Chumala  Bisexual, early type variety.  Regular and good yielder. Prefers shaded and protected situations.   Leaves large, broad, ovate and pale green. Spikes are long, straight with large, pale green berries. 
Karimkotta Hardy, bisexual variety, regular bearer, Good yielder.  Leaves are large, dark green, Spikes short, curved with closely set large and shiny dark green berries. 
Karivilanchi Hardy, regular bearer, good yielder, producing pepper of good quality.  Leaves ovate and medium sized. Spikes fairly close set with medium sized dark green fruits.   
Kumbhakodi Bisexual variety with good yield Leaves elliptical with long straight spikes. 
Perumkodi A cultivar from Central Kerala, moderate in yield and quality. Grows to considerable heights. Yields in alternate years. Lives long (100 years)  Leaves large, oval. Spikes fairly long, straight and closely set with dark green, medium sized fruits.  
Thommankodi A cultivar from Central Kerala, moderately good in yield and quality. Seems to be a variant of Kuthiravally.  Spikes are slightly shorter and berry filling somewhat better than those of Kuthiravally
Uthirankotta Hardy type, profusely branching, Generally poor yielder but bearing good crops in certain years. Berries have a tendency to shed early. Leaves light green, tough and leathery with heavy margins. Spikes long and straight with sparsely set, light green berries larger than those of Kalluvalli. 
Valliyakaniyakadan Medium in yield and quality. Slightly larger leaves and longer spikes with bold, heavy berries and good berry setting.  
Vellanamban Moderate yielder, medium in quality. Comparatively resistant to wilt.  Leaves small, drooping and elliptical. Spikes medium length, closely set with medium sized, dark green berries. Bears both bisexual and female flowers.  

Nedumchola: A cultivar with small leaves and short spikes, moderate yielder.

Kottan: Moderate yielder, medium in quality.

Chengannurkodi: Moderate yielder from South Kerala, medium in quality.

Cheppakulamundi: Moderate yielder from Central Kerala, medium in quality.

Jeerakamundi: Cultivar with small leaves and short spikes with high spiking intensity, alternate bearing nature, small berries.

Vattamundi: A moderate yielder from Central Kerala.

Thulamundi: A Central Kerala cultivar, medium in yield and quality.

Poonjaranmunda: A cultivar with long spikes originally from Central Kerala, sporadically found in gardens of North Kerala, moderately good in yield and quality.

Kuttianikodi: A moderate yielder from Central Kerala with relatively long spikes and good spiking intensity.

Malamundi: A moderate yielder, medium in quality.

Manjamundi: Moderate yielder, medium in quality.

Neyyattinkaramundi: A cultivar from Central Kerala, medium in quality and yield.

Perambramunda: Moderate yielder, medium in quality.

Neelamundi: A good yielder from Central Kerala, medium in quality. Tolerant to Phytophthora infection.





  1. The Wealth of India.  A Dictionary of Indian Raw Materials and Products, Vol. 8, Ph-Re, Publications and Information Directorate, CSIR, 1969.
  2. H. P. Singh, V. A. Parthasarathy. V. Srinivasan and K. V. Saji. Piperaceae Crops- Production and Utilization-Black Pepper, Betelvine and others. Westville Publishing House, New Delhi, First Edition, 2012.
  3. Sasikumar B., Thankamani C. K., Srinivasan V., Devasahayam S., Santhosh J Eapen., Suseela Bhai R and John Zacharaiah T. Black Pepper (Extension Pamphlet), October 2008, Indian Institute of Spices Research.
  4. Ravindran P. N., Nirmal Babu K., Shiva K. N and Johny A. Kallupurackal. Advances in Spices Research-History and Achievements of Spices Research in India Since Independence. Agrobios (India) publishing, 2006.
  5. E. V. Nybe, N. Miniraj and K. V. Peter. Spices. Horticultural Science Series, Vol.5, New India Publishing Agency, 2007.
  6. Henry N. Ridley. Spices. International Book Distributors, 1983, 243-250.
  7. K. G. Shanmugavelu and V. N. Madhava Rao. Spices and Plantation Crops. Popular Book Depot, First edition, 1977.
  8. KAU Agri Infotech Portal.
  9. Pepper varieties.
  10. KAU Pepper Varieties: Panniyur-6 and Panniyur-7.


Average: 5 (1 vote)