Black pepper is one of the popular spices and known as "king of spices” and it is the most commonly used spice in the world. Black pepper, Piper nigrum, is a climbing perennial plant in the family Piperaceae which is grown for its fruits. The fruits are used to produce black, white and green peppercorns which are commonly used as a spice in cooking. The fruits develop on the flower spike and are small spherical fruits which are green and ripen to red. Each stem can produce 20–30 spikes. Black pepper can grow to be 10 m (33 ft) in height but under cultivation it is usually restricted to 3-4 m (10–13 ft). It is a perennial plant which can live for over 30 years, with a commercial lifespan of 12–20 years.