diemen pepper

The Plant

native pepper leaf

Tasmannia lanceolata
Native Pepper leaf and distictive crimson stem

Tasmannia lanceolata
Native Pepper berries

Tasmannia lanceolata
Native Pepper in flower

Tasmannia lanceolata - native or mountain pepper

Tasmania's native 'pepper' is a lovely rainforest shrub growing to about 5 metres high with dark green leaves, black berries and distinctive crimson stems. Found from sea level to mountain tops in Tasmania, and the south eastern Australian mainland, it belongs to a small family of plants from the ancient Gondwanan supercontinent, now found in the countries around the South Pacific rim. 
Tasmanian pepper leaves and berries contain a hot tasting compound (polygodial) which, together with many of the aromatic compounds common in many other Australian plants, gives them an unusual fragrant, spicy taste and reminds us of the wild, west coast rainforests of Tasmania.
Leaf and berries are chosen for their spicy flavour and beneficial properties in a wide array of applications - from Australian native cuisine to gin distilleries, even the cosmetic and nutraceutical industries. Ask us for more information (link to contact).
Polygodial - an unusual natural ingredient
The foliage, fruit and bark of Tasmanian native pepper have a unique natural chemistry including many interesting compounds, the most unusual and interesting of which is ‘polygodial’, only found in a handful of plant species around the world and first identified in leaf extracts in 1962.
Besides its hot peppery flavour, polygodial has lots of other biological properties including antimicrobial and antifungal activity which features in trials of shelf-life extension for fish and meat products, and application in therapeutic and nutritional products.