A Tasmanian native plant forming a shrub or small tree that grows 1-3m. It can be found growing anywhere from sea level up to alpine regions and as such, it tolerates frosts and requires moist soil, however will also grow in full or partial sun.
Both male and female plants are needed to produce the much sought after Pepper berries which are pea-sized, glossy deep-purple/black in colour and grow in clusters at the base of new season's growth.
All parts of this amazing bushfood (berry and leaves) are edible. The berries, are only produced on the female plant however you also need a male plant to set fruit.
Berries are used in the same manner as traditional pepper but are more versatile, far more nutritious and very high in anti-oxidants. They have an outstanding hot peppery bush flavour that is fantastic in soups, savoury and meat dishes.
The leaves are used in a similar way to curry leaf. Finely chopped leaves are a fantastic addition to savoury dishes and make a great garnish, but be careful - they're hot and dried leaves are even hotter, so don't overdo it.
The striking red stemmed foliage is also a favourite of florists.
Indigenous people have used these plants as traditional medicine as well as food flavouring for many generations.
It's high anti-oxidant level has seen it documented as a treatment for a variety of illnesses.
Early European settlers recorded making tonics from ground berries, leaves and bark to treat scurvy.