Water-pepper - Persicaria hydropiper

    Alt Name
    Water Pepper

    Medium to tall, erect hairless plant with a burning peppery taste. Leaves narrow-lanceolate, pointed, scarcely stalked. Flowers in a lax slender spike, often drooping especially at the tip, pinkish or greenish white.

    Similar Species

    Persicaria minor

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Peppery taste is characteristic; hairs on face of stipules (not terminal cilia) fused to to stipule for >3/4 of length

    Recording advice

    Nibble clean leaf to detect peppery taste!  Photo of stipules is needed.  


    Damp places, wet meadows, water margins, woodland rides etc.

    When to see it

    June to September.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread and quite frequent in Britain in suitable habitats.

    VC55 Status

    Locally frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 166 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native, Locally Frequent

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map