The fruits of our rainforest pepper bushes are starting to ripen. This bush, fruiting beautifully at Goomburra last weekend, shows their pretty purple fruits - edible, but a little insipid in flavour. If you try eating one without chewing the seeds, you might be excused for thinking that it’s not really a pepper at all.
Bite a seed, however, and it’s a different story! These little seeds pack a lot of punch for their size.
Bush peppers are plants of the rainforest understorey. They make good garden shrubs, but are not very drought hardy, so need good mulch, quite a lot of shade, and some watering.
The plants used commercially by the bushfoods industry are usually those of a southern relative, Tasmannia lanceolata, but could just as well be these - so if you want to plant "bush tucker", do grow the local!