Characteristics and properties of matico

What is a matico (Piper aduncum) ?

Characteristics of matico

Common English name: Matico

Common name in other languages:

– Spanish: Matico, hierba del soldado, Palo del soldado, achotlín, cordoncillo, candelillo, higuillo, pimentero de hoja angosta, moho-moho.

– French: Matico, Feulles Matico (leaves).

– German: Matikoblätter.

Scientific name: Piper aduncum.

Taxonomic synonym: Piper angustifolium Ruiz & Pav.; Piper celtidifolium (Ham. ex Kunth) Desf.; Piper elongatum (Poir. ex Vahl) C.DC., Arthante elongata Miguel; Stephensia elongata Kunth.

Family: Piperaceae.

Habitat: native to Peru and spread over tropical South America, southern Mexico, the Caribbean, Polynesia and Melanesia.

Botanical description of Matico

Matico (Piper aduncum) is a shrub between 1 and 8 meters high widespread in the American tropics.

Its stem is slender and erect, with yellowish pubescence. It presents knots on its stem, from which the twigs of the plant emerge.

The leaves are petiolateed, simple and alternate. They are between 12 and 22 cm long by 4.9 cm wide, hairless, oval or elliptical, acuminate apex and rounded base. Yellowish green, rough and with pubescence on upper leaf, which has rough touch. Petiole 2-5 mm long. Leaves have pronounced veins, between 4 and 6 pairs per leaf.

The inflorescence is a flower spike that comes from the main stem node, opposed to the leaves. It is between 6 and 16 cm long.

Matico flowers are white and are arranged in a spiral along the spine. Bisexual flowers with no perianth, wind pollinated.

Fruits in ovoid drupes, flattened, brown with sessile stigmas.

Components of Matico

– Acid artrántico (leaves)

– Maticine (leaves)

Mucilage (leaves)

– Resin (leaves)

Tannins (leaves)


In the image:drawing of a leaf of Matico (Piper aduncum).

Uses of Matico

It is mainly used as a substitute of Piper nigrum

punto rojo More information about Matico properties and other types of peppers

Botanical classification

Vascular plants


Seed plants


Flower plants



SpeciesPiper aduncum

punto rojo More information about Matico properties and other types of peppers

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

2 July, 2021

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