Water-pepper - Persicaria hydropiper

Alternative names
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

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map