Family • Piperaceae - Piper baccatum Blume - CLIMBING PEPPER OF JAVA

Scientific names

Piper baccatum Blume
Muldera baccata Miq.

Common names

Sambañganai (Tag.)
Climbing pepper of Java (Engl.)

Gen info
There is an estimated total of 1200 species of Piper in the pantropical and neotropical regions. Works on Philippine wild Piperaceae have been extensive. Candole (1910) reported 133 species of Piper and 26 of Peperomia; Merill (1923), 115 Piper, 25 Peperomia, and Quisumbing (1930), documented 87 Piper and 21 Peperomia.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Chemical constituents of peppers (Piper spp.) and application to food preservation: naturally occurring antioxidative compounds / N Nakartani, R Inatani, H Ohta and N Nishioka / Environ Health Perspect. 1986 August; 67: 135–142.



Sambañganai is a dioecious vine with branches smooth, terete, 2 to 4 millimetrs in diameter. Leaves are leathery, oblong-elliptic or rounded-ovate, 12 to 16.5 centimeters long, 4 to 9.5 centimeters wide, 5- to 7-plinerved, and smooth on both surfaces. Pistillate spikes are pendulous, 4.5 to 9.5 centimeters long, and about 1.5 centimeters in diameter. Bracts are smooth, conate to the rachis, with their ends fusing and forming the cupular receptacles. Fruits are globose, borne on the cupular receptacles, 4.5 to 6 millimeters long, 4 to 5 millimeters in diameter. Stigmas number 3 to 4, slightly hairy and rounded. Cupular receptacle is sessile to subsessile, stout, smooth outside, smooth to ciliate on the rim, and pilose inside. Staminate spikes are pendulous, slender, 3 to 6 centimeters long, and 2 to 2.25 millimeters in diameter. Stamens are 5, small, and sunk in the cupular receptacle, with very small, ovoid to subglobose, bilocular, 2-valved anthers, and the filaments oblong, swollen at the base and slightly longer than the anthers.

– In forests at medium altitude, in Agusan and Lanao Provinces in Mindanao.
– Also occurs in Borneo and Java.

Parts used



Decoction of roots used in venereal diseases.

Study Findings
• Naturally Occurring Antioxidants: Study of compounds of Piper species (P. nigrum, P. retrofractum, P. baccatum) revealed 14 phenolic amides, two from P. baccatum. All the phenolic amides exhibited significant antioxidant activities more effective than naturally occurring alpha-tocopherol.