Water pepper

(Polygonum hydropiper)


Common English name: water-pepper, water pepper, common smartweed.

- Spanish: Pimienta de agua, pimienta acu�tica, atacaya, hierba de hicotea, chilillo (M�xico), Yerba del sapo (Cuba). Persicaria acre, persicaria picante, yerba pexiguera sin manchas, persicaria no manchada
- Catalan: pebre d'Aigua
- Portuguese: pimenta d'Agua, Persicaria barbed persicari-burning.
- Euskera: astapiparr, astaphiperr, tzakurrpiper.
- French: poivre d'eau
- German: Wasserpfeffer, Flohpfeffer, Pfefferkn�terich, Pfefferkraut, Scharfkraut genannt.

Scientific name: Polygonum hydropiper
Taxonomic Synonyms:
- Gray acris Persicaria nom. illeg.
- Persicaria flaccida (Meisn.) H.Gross
- Hydropiper persicaria (L.) Spach
- Hydropiper persicaria (L.) Delarbre

Family: Polygonaceae

Habitat: Native Plant of the European continent, distributed in cold and temperate regions. It is located on the Eurasian continent (Caucasus, Siberia) and North America (Mexico, USA, Canada).

It likes high humidity and high nitrogen soils, growing naturally in swamps, rivers,, etc.. It does not tolerate calcareous soils.

Botanical description of water pepper

The smartweed (Polygonum hydropiper) is an annual herb, 20 to 60 cm tall, usually branched and hairless.

Stems erect, greenish or reddish. Its small petiolated leaves (1) are alternate, lanceolate, acute, entire margins, about 2 cm wide and 12 cm long. They are covered with transparent essence glands.

At the base of each leaf there are the ochreas (2), which are membranous structures departing from the corners of the leaves that surround the stem like a sheath.

In botany, the nodal ocreas typical structures of the Polygonaceae family.

The inflorescences are terminal hanging racemes (3), between 1 and 6 per plant, where the flowers are arranged.

Pepper aquatic blooms in summer and autumn. The flowers are small, about 4 mm long, whitish or greenish, stained with red at maturity. It is a honey plant.

The fruit is an lenticular (compressed) trigonal (triangular) achene or, as if the flower contained two or three styles. It is brown, approximately 3 millimeters.

This fruit has a strong spicy flavor similar to the taste of chilli.

pimienta agua
In the picture: botanical illustration of smartweed, showing the stems, leaves and terminal inflorescences of the plant.

Composition of water pepper

- Essential oil: 1,4-cineole, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, borneol, camphor, carvone, cinnamic acid, cinnamic alcohol, fenchone, P-cymol, phellandrene, poligonone, terpineol.

- Organic acids: formic acid, acetic acid, valeric acid, gallic acid, malic acid, melissic acid, ellagic acid, baldrianic acid, caprionic acid. tannic acid.

- Anthraquinones:oxy methyl anthraquinone (root). Purging compound also present in other Polygonaceae such as rhubarb.

- Tannins

- Phytosterols: beta-sitosterol, sitosterol

- Sesquiterpenes: polygodial (leaves), polygonal (seeds), confertiflorin (seeds), isodrimeninol (seed), isopolygodial (seed), isorhamnetin, isodrimenol, isotadeonal, polygonolide.

- Mucilage

- Flavonoids: rutin, kaempferol, quercetin, quercitrin, rhamnazin, rhamnesin.

- Salts: potassium nitrate, potassium chloride.

Water piper composition
(Polygonum hydropiper)
Chemicals Contents
(en ppm.)
Tannins 35.000
Rutin (leaves) 25.000 - 30.000
Potassium chloride 26.000
Rhamnazin 1.100

punto rojo More information about water pepper and other types of peppers in the listing above

Botanical classification
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheobionta
Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta
Flower plants
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Caryophyllales
Family Polygonaceae
Gender Polygonum
Species P. hydropiper

punto rojo More information about water pepper and other types of peppers in the listing above

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.