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Mountian Pepper
Mountian Pepper

  • Price: $25.00

It is a shrub native to woodlands and cool temperate rainforest of south-eastern Australia. The shrub varies from 2-10m high. It grows naturally as a shrub to small tree (2-5 m high and wide), with glossy dark-green leaves and attractive bright red stems. Its flowers are cream coloured and occur from October through to January depending on locality. It has berry-like fruits 5-10 mm in diameter, beginning dark red and turning shiny black when ripe in summer or autumn. They generally appear only on female trees, though occasionally plants contain flowers of both sexes. Plant growth is moderate to fast under favourable conditions. The plant appears to prefer neutral to acid organic soil, but will tolerate a broad range of soil types as long as they are well aerated and constantly cool if not regularly moist. It will tolerate severe frosts and even snow. It is frost hardy, although late frosts can adversely affect fruit survival. While Tasmannia lanceolata is very drought sensitive, it also does poorly on waterlogged or poorly drained sites, as it has a very simple root and transport system.

Comments Warnings : The primary active compound in Tasmannia lanceolata, has been identified as polygodial and is responsible for its peppery taste. Mature leaves can be used dried and milled as flavour ingredient in sweet and savoury dishes or fresh as a garnish. Berries can be used fresh, frozen or dried as a pungent spice. They show sweet fruit flavours and pungency. The leaves and berries of the plant are now used to give a 'wild, natural and spicy' taste to foods of the Australian native cuisine, such as emu hamburgers, flavoured breads, pastas and pates, mustards and cheeses. Add ground Mountain Pepperleaf to olive oil for dressings. A small bowl of ground Mountain Pepper placed in the centre of the table can be 'pinched' over soups and sauces. It was used as a colonial pepper substitute, but more recently it has become popularised as bushfood condiment that can be added to curries, cheeses and alcoholic beverages.