I really wanted to grow the Mountain Pepperberry (Tasmannia lanceolata), but sadly it’s more suited to cooler climates in the south-east. But there is a related species – the Dorrigo Pepper (Tasmannia stipitata), which is a rainforest shrub of the northern tablelands of NSW. So I’ll give this one a go. Be careful not to get it confused with the Pepperberry Tree (cryptocarya obovata), which is from a similar region, but larger and not as edible and a completely different species.
The pepperberry has beautiful green aromatic leaves and can be trimmed to a bushy shrub. The most important thing is that to produce fruit, you need two trees – the male and female flowers are on separate plants. Leaves from both male and female can be eaten, but the berries will only grow on the female.
Both the berries and the leaf can be used fresh and dried.
The green leaf has a sharp, hot, spicy flavour with woody overtones, good for recipes requiring a strong pepper flavour as an alternative to bay leaves.
The leaves are more subtle in flavour than the berries, and the berries actually work well in strong desserts, eg with dark chocolate.
The fresh berries will add a strong plum colour to your meal and sauces.
They are stronger than normal peppercorns, so use 3/4 of the quantity specified for normal pepper.
The dried berries can be crushed easily in a mortar and pestle.
Combined with lemon myrtle, this is an excellent seasoning for chicken, fish etc.
It has naturally low toxic and inhibits bacteria, fungi and giardia
They are a rainforest shrub, and prefer growing in the understory, with shade.
They can grow to 4-5 metres, but are typically more shrub-like.
The flowers appear between September and November, with berries ripening in summer.
AppearanceType: Tree, Shrub
Leaf Size: Small
FunctionsBush Tucker: Yes
Edible Flower: No
Uses: Herb, Spice
Fire Retardant: Unknown
GrowingClimate Zone: Warm Temperate, Cold Temperate
Planting Season: Spring, Autumn, Winter
Harvesting Season: Summer
Sun/Shade: Partial Sun, Shade
Soil: Well Drained
Frost Tolerant: Yes
Time to Maturity:
Watering Preference: Moderate