Tasmannia lanceolata
Tasmannia lanceolata
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Tasmannia lanceolata

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Tasmanian lanceolata Mountain Pepper is a tall, native evergreen shrub or small tree. This lovely example of a bush food plant occurs naturally in the cool, temperate rainforest areas of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. It has distinctive reddish branches and smooth, narrow green leaves. Its creamy flowers appear in small clusters in September, with the female tree producing dark red berries that turn black when ripe in around March or April. The leaves have a hot flavour when chewed, and the berries are enjoyed by native birds. Both the leaves and berries can be dried and used as a cooking spice, and when milled, the hardened berries make for a terrific substitute for conventional pepper. Give it a feed with organic slow release fertiliser in early spring and late autumn.

Please note: You’ll need both a female and male plant to produce fruit. 

Soil:  Choose a free draining spot and prepare the site with compost and manure, then mulch well after planting to keep the soil moist. 
Conditions: Plant in a sheltered site that is either in dappled shade or receives morning sun. Frost, wind and cold tolerant.
Size: Height 3-5m x width 2-3m. The tree can grow to 10m in native habitats.