The pepper that's used as a spice comes from a vine called Piper nigrum. Black peppercorns are the shrivelled berries of this vine. Traditionally, they're picked just before they ripen and are allowed to dry in the sun.Continue Reading
White peppercorns are the ripened berries that have been soaked and that have had their husks removed. This type of pepper is good for making white sauces though it is less intense than black pepper. Green peppercorns are the unripe berries.
Pink peppercorns don't come from Piper nigrum but from a shrub called Schinus molle. They also have a peppery taste and are used as a spice.Learn more about Botany