Mountain pepper

Also native pepper, pepperbush, Dorrigo pepper (Tasmannia stipitata).

Latin name: Tasmannia spp. There are seven varieties of native pepper growing across the cooler regions of Australia, all with edible leaves and berries, and distinctly different flavours. Tasmannia lanceolata is the most common commercial source of leaves and berries at the moment. T. stipitata is commonly known as "Dorrigo pepper".

It's one of our favourite plants, which is why our logo features a branch and leaves of the plant.

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Eating


  • Both the seeds and the leaf are edible.
  • Both seed and leaf can be used fresh or dried.
  • Pepperberries can be used where you might use black pepper.
  • The berries are, however, much hotter than black pepper, with a pepper warmth that takes a good minute to kick in, and then leaves a lovely berry aftertaste which is very moreish.
  • Pepperleaf has a rich, herby pepper flavour. Use whole leaves instead of bay leaves to add flavour to slow-cooked dishes such as stews or sauces.
  • Add dried leaves where you might use ordinary pepper but need less bite.
  • Pepperberries add an intense pink/purple colour to anything they’re used in.
  • The berry-like flavours of both the dried and fresh pepperberry makes it surprisingly good in sweet dishes, complementing berries, chocolate, and other rich, "dark" flavours.
  • Dried berries are hotter than the more common peppers - use sparingly. For example, if a recipe called for 12 peppercorns, try 8 or 9 pepperberries initially.
  • Pepperberries can be used in most pepper grinders. We have had some reports they are too large for some grinders, but this is not common.
  • They crush well in a mortar and pestle, or with the flat of a knife.


Growing


  • Mountain peppers grow on sprawling bushes.
  • They are found in cool-climate rainforests.
  • They are understory plants, and do not grow well outside of those conditions without help.
  • They like rich, light, well-mulched soils, lots of water, and to be kept in the shade.
  • They do well in the ACT region but must be kept cool and damp and out of direct wind and sun during summer.
  • Are tolerant of sub-zero temperatures but may not tolerate direct frost.
  • They do very well in pots on the southern side of a house, or under larger trees.
  • They can be pruned lightly to keep shape; if unpruned, they can grow quite spindly.
  • Male and female plants are required to set berries; however, the leaves of both plants are edible.