Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bush Pepper

Tasmannia insipida
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!

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