Piper betle L., Sp. Pl. 28 1753. (Syn: Artanthe hexagyna Miq.; Betela mastica Raf.; Chavica auriculata Miq.; Chavica betle (L.) Miq.; Chavica blumei Miq.; Chavica chawya C.DC.; Chavica chuvya Miq.; Chavica densa Miq.; Chavica siriboa Miq.; Cubeba melamiri Miq.; Cubeba seriboa Miq.; Macropiper potamogetonifolium (Opiz) Miq.; Piper anisodorum Náves ex Fern.-Vill.; Piper bathicarpum C.DC.; Piper betel Blanco [Spelling variant]; Piper betle var. densum (Bl.) C.DC.; Piper betle f. densum (Bl.) Fosb.; Piper betle var. fenixii (C.DC.) Quisumb.; Piper betle var. macgregorii (C.DC.) Quisumb.; Piper betle var. mariannum (Opiz) C.DC.; Piper betle f. marianum (Opiz) Fosb.; Piper betle var. siriboa (L.) C.DC.; Piper bidentatum Stokes; Piper blumei (Miq.) Backer; Piper carnistilum C.DC.;  Piper chawya Buch.-Ham.; Piper chuvya Miq.;Piper densum Bl.; Piper fenixii C.DC.; Piper macgregorii C.DC.; Piper malamiris L.; Piper malarayatense C.DC.; Piper marianum Opiz; Piper philippinense C.DC.; Piper pinguispicum C.DC. & Koord.; Piper potamogetonifolium Opiz; Piper puberulinodum C.DC.; Piper saururus Burm.; Piper siriboa L.; Piperi betlum (L.) St.-Lag.); 
Sunda Isl. (I), Taiwan (I), Java, Jamaica (I), Lesser Antilles (I) (Guadeloupe (I), Martinique (I)), Seychelles (I), Mauritius (I), Madagascar (I), trop. E-Africa (I), Fiji (I), Christmas Isl. (Austr.) (I), India (I), Lakshadweep Isl. (Laccadives) (I), Maldives (I), Philippines (I), Sri Lanka (I), Vietnam (I), trop. Afr. (I), Northern Marianas (I) (Agrihan (I), Alamagan (I), Sarigan (I)), Southern Marianas (I) (Saipan (I), Rota (I), Guam (I)), La Runion (I), Andamans (I) (North Andamans (I), Middle Andamans (I), South Andamans (I), Little Andaman Isl. (I)), Nicobars (I) (Car Nicobar Isl. (I), North Nicobars (I), Central Nicobars (I), Great Nicobar Isl. (I), Little Nicobar Isl. (I)), Myanmar [Burma] (I), Laos (I), Bhutan (I), Sikkim (I), Nepal (I), New Guinea (I), Solomon Isl. (I), Moluccas (I), Micronesia (I) (Yap (I), Fais (I), Pohnpei (I)), Palau Isl. (I) (Babeldaob (I), Angaur (I), Sonsorol (I)), Singapore (I), Trinidad & Tobago (I) as per Catalogue of Life;
Common name: Betel Vine, Betel • Hindi: पान Paan, Nagar-bel • Kannada: Ambaadi yele, Veeleyada yele • Malayalam: ബീടലാ Beetla, Vettila • Manipuri: ꯀ꯭ꯋꯥ Kwa • Marathi: खाव्याचे पान Khavayache-pan, naagavaela • Nepali: पान Paan • Sanskrit: ताम्बूल Tambula, नागवल्ली Nagavalli • Tamil: வெத்திலை Vettilai, Akilatam, Vetrilai • Urdu: Desi paan دیسی پان • Mizo: Panruang


Piper betle L. from Hooghly:
In one of my earlier articles i have mentioned that Betel plant is grown in a shady enclosure, called BAROJ, built with jute stems and bamboo sticks. Outsiders are not allowed to enter into this enclosure. Even there is also some restrictions on family members of the growers. Maybe for some traditional reasons or maybe because some plants need special care to grow.

I found this plant in a garden, under shades of various bigger trees and it was clinging a CHAMPACA tree. And when there is PAAN there must be betel nut !
And the damselfly asked me to capture her too!
Species : Piper betle L.
Habit & Habitat : cultivated climber having roots at nodes
Date : 16/10/12, 3.15 p.m.
Place : Garalgacha (Hooghly)

We have munched these leaves yesterday, and i think these are locally called SADA PATA (ordinary betel leaf) PAAN, leaves are bigger than the MITHA PATA variety which we see in PAAN SHOPs.

Piper betle L., Sp. Pl. 1: 28. 1753.
Betel pepper, Paan leaf
Photographed from Indian store in California 

A very popular plant, so we have people who chew this in USA also.. may be mostly Indian.. thanks Sir..

yes, …  Its nice to see the plant itself. DEAR ALL:  But it fills me with foreboding. may be we may get fined sooner or later for the pan pichkari .. Salman Rushdi made the west aware of that bad habit in a wide scale. (you may recall he went on and on about such uncouth behaviors’  in his booker of the booker book. Indians are fined against it in numerous countries including very vigorously in Singapore to name one. I always hope that some uncouth human does not do in California, because in Little India in Queens NY several immigrants were already warned by authorities..to put it mildly. Please look up  :
On Jackson Heights Sidewalks, a Treat’s Messy Aftermath  By NICHOLAS HIRSHON   Published: August 12, 2012. 
 facebook even has a page

At least one council (locality) in England has banned it: http://news.bbc.co.uk/london/8580076.stm
I quote from it : “Brent is not the only part of London which has been blighted by this. Neighbouring Ealing Council has also faced similar problems and there are reports of problems in places like Leicester and Birmingham.”
Its very shameful when we encounter such posters.  But its our own fault that our country men (and women) do it.  Ex president KALAM talked of it  https://archive.org/PresidentKalamS/0089.txt. so much for my pet peeve. Attachments (1).

I beg you pardon … and …, but I fully agree with … The latest nuisance in this ‘pichkari’ series is GUTKA. Only a five minutes stay in a railway station or at a bus stop will inevitably prove this pichkari habit! Several of my students had started to spit it even in their classroom! However, we were successful to get them rid of this bad habit. It has now spread like an epidemic, affecting people irrespective of age-class-caste-religion!

I agree in toto, I usually talk with people how bad it feels when we see the walls of Public Places made dirty by PAAN lovers, I sometimes feel helpless.. luckily we have very few people of this kind in our area.. Thanks … for detailed information and … also for further raising the issue and sharing his experience..

Yes …, I too beg pardon of  … But Paan spit is such a nasty habit.
I too had a paan gaachh in my balcony a couple of years ago, i wanted to see if i can get to fruit if possible,   but it died of a fungal infection we could not control.
I have a couple of pictures including the blackening fungus … I was thinking of searching an submitting them this fortnight.
There are many medicinal uses for the kwath made from piper family leaves … not just in India.  South americans use Kava kava, I think its a piper plant if I am not mistaken.   Kava tincture is a popular mood food supplement in USA.
ps just remembered kava is indeed a piper: Piper methysticum

Though sometimes I eat pan after dinner if the host offers and enjoy it or as a medicine for my chest problems. But do detest the spitting. It is not only pan but tobacco chewers also spit all over.

i appreciate your writing and sentiments.
If paan helps you in your chest problems, by all means chew a fresh thin small lightest thinnest paan you can find (like good benarasi paans) cut it up, mix with a little sugar crystal and keep in a small pill box and chew.  and get the juice down your throat.   You could also cut up say a cup paan and make a strong tea. to drink.
BUT about the bad social  habits though …..

One person at a time is what I do… i describe the cancer the tobacco in gutka and mouth mucous membrane and tooth decay and damage strong alkali and chemicals in paan cause.  ANd other addictions that these things bring in  in their wake. Usually these are poor labor intensive workers taxi drivers rickshaw wallahs sundry other labor folks sometimes teachers students or even some univ professors…
all have some arguments in favor of their habits.
but sooner or later in that 10 or 20 minutes of our conversation following the initial arguments and bravado,  they all come down to asking ( sometimes begging) if I would give them some free medical therapy for some oral cancers in their family … or someone very close…   they all come down to telling me how poor they are and how they  can not  afford therapy. And they start bad mouthing doctors hospitals government anybody but themselves. I bring them to appropriate places if possible to do so, but I also have them count the cost // price of each gutka times per day times per week times per year times number of years…   and when they arrive at the large number of rupees it opens their eyes that they bought the cancer at such a price and will have to pay for it further when the disease sets in.
And with spitting… I tell them about germs of all kinds including TB and such in addition to the sanitary problem.
spitting problem is more intractable.  they are not as afraid of the germs as they are of cancer.  And spitting is a little cultural basis and some macho sentiments peek thru when they they are defending their behaviour.
so there it is

In spite of this discussion I look forward to all the piper betle submissions of all those myriad varieties and cultivars and regional horticultural adventures.
Please lets see them , thanks in advance.


Piperaceae, Lauraceae and Thymelaeaceae Fortnight :: Piperaceae :: Piper betle :: MNP :: ARKSEP-06 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3).
Attached are pictures of Piper betle captured at MNP in April 2014.
Requested to please validate the ID. 

First 2 are Piper betel, third one is Piper longum

Thank you … for the correction in ID…
I thought I clicked all 3 pics of the same patch of leaves… How did you distinguish between the P. betle and P. longum leaves?

Images by tspkumar


TSPNOV2015-77-121: Images of Piper betle (Piperaceae) : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (4)

It is my pleasure to share few images of Piper betle (Piperaceae) the Pan patta..! of Tarikere fame. 

Habit: A climber 

Habitat: Cultivated 

Sighting: Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1000 msl 

Date: 27-05-2015 and 13-06-2014


SK1276 11 JUL 2018 : 7 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (7)- around 500 kb each.

Location Kalimpong, WB, India
Date: 10 May 2018
Altitude: 4100 ft.
Habit : Cultivated
Which Piper is this ?  Piper longum L. ??

Can we get help from … ? 

To me look somewhat different from images at Piper longum 

Most probably its a variant of the cultivated P. betle (betle leaf)

Piper betle L.
Nepali Name:  पान Paan.


Paper on Anatomy of Piper: One of our papers has just been published 🙂
However, its purely of descriptive anatomy by nature :
We always appreciate the external beauty of plants…but its equally enjoyable and thrilling to study their internal make-up, too…
Here is the link for free access to full article:
…, I hear you… will surely post SEM pics whenever I come up with some interesting ones…
Here are some from our ‘beloved’ betel leaf, Piper betle

Pipers are always difficult for me to identify. This paper will help people like me to learn a lot about Pipers. Photos are exceptionally beautiful.
Hoping to find many more from you in future.

Looking forward for more SEM studies. Do something on Orchid pollinia if possible.

Dr. M. S. Mulgaonkar from our college has worked on orchid pollinia, SEM, annd further pollen grains.

… you probably know more about ‘La lot’, the Vietnamese betel leaf (Piper sarmentosum). Its very close to our Indian betel vine (P. betle) and has similar usage. Morphologically they are similar and difficult to distinguish. So we tried anatomy for the purpose.
…, yes I look forward to doing pollen microscopy in the future… I am presently working on an orchid species 🙂 and analyzing the quality of its medicinal (commercial) products.

Yes …, I am aware of P. sarmentosum….have collected it from Arunachal Pradesh too. Your detailed study on these species will surely help in identification.

The SEM are fantastic… esp of the petiole fracture and the trichome
The vascular bundle is soooooo like in mammalian lungs… that if we cropped out the surrounding tissue and only saved the middle it could fool the eyes even for a first second as to the origin of the tissue…. animal or vegetable kingdom?? one main could be the thin walled vein, another a small arteriole (of course without musculature, would give it away after the first second) … and a distended lymphatic channel!!! loved it…


Piper betle from Hosaya village, Bedur road, Hassan for validation-GS14022022-2: 3 very high res. images.
Piper betle for validation photographed from Hosaya village, Bedur road, Hassan, Karnataka, 26-9-2015.