[AS., from L. piper,.] A common kind of spice, the dried berry of a climbing shrub which grows wild in the East Indies, but is now cultivated in most hot countries. The peppers of Malacca, Java, and especially of Sumatra, are the most esteemed. The berries are about as large as peas, and grow in clusters of twenty or thirty, somewhat like a bunch of currants, each berry containing a single seed. Cayenne pepper, first brought from Cayenne, in South America, is made from the pod of the capsicum plant, an entirely different kind of shrub from that which bears black pepper. The pod is green at first, but bright scarlet when ripe, and this gives the pepper its red color.