Piper betle

Piper betle L

Family     : Piperaceae

Common Name  : വെറ്റില(Mal)

          पान (Hin)

                                  Betel Vine(Eng)

Betel Vine is an evergreen and perennial creeper, with glossy heart-shaped leaves, producing woody stems 5-20 m long. The stems produce adventitious roots, with which they can adhere to other plants etc for support. Leaves are light green to bright green, glossy, deeply veined and hairless. They are heart-shaped with entire leaf margin. Lleaf stalk is reddish like the stem. Flowers are white catkins developed on the nodes, erect or pendulous. Flowers are small, without sepal and petal. Fruits are fleshy, spherical to ellipsoidal.

Climber; stems strongly swollen at the nodes, papillose when young. Leaves of fertile branches 12-20 x 6-12 cm wide, ovate, rounded or shallowly cordate and slightly asymmetrical at the base, gradually acuminate at the apex, bright green, shining and very smooth on the upper side, margin slightly revolute; with 2-3 pairs of arcuate veins from the base and one pair from the midrib 1-3 cm above the base; reticulate veins not or feebly raised on upper surface; petiole 1-2 cm long, 1.2-1.8 mm thick glabrous. Peduncle 1.2-2.8 cm long, as long as or slightly longer than petiole of opposed leaf. Spike 3.5-5 cm long, 3-4 mm thick at anthesis, unevenly nodose in fruit; pendulous, apiculate by the ebracteate sterile tip of the axis; bracts peltate, orbicular to obcordate, broadly stipitate, with a membranous margin. Flowers crowded, dioecious. Stamens 2. Stylules 5-6, sometimes up to 8, about 0.8 mm across. Berries very rarely produced, into a fleshy spadix.



Leaf preparations and the leaf sap are applied to wounds, ulcers, boils and bruises. Heated leaves are applied as a poultice on the chest against cough and asthma, on the breasts to stop milk secretion, and on the abdomen to relieve constipation. The leaves are also used to treat nosebleed, ulcerated noses, gums and mucous membranes while the extract from the leaves is applied for wounds in the ears and as an infusion for the eye.


 India and Malesia

Flowering & Fruiting :