About Our Gourmet Pepperberries

The leaves are attached by a very small (2–4 mm), thick, red leaf stalk without small leaf like outgrowths (stipules) at its base. The thick, narrow leaves are lance-shaped with smooth edges and a pointed tip, and taper gradually at the leaf base.
The leaves are smooth and satiny on both sides, hairless, bright green above and slightly paler beneath, and covered with numerous fine dots that are the oil glands. It is these oil glands that produce the aromatic smell when the leaf is crushed, and the hot taste when chewed.

Trials will be carried out over the next few years on the extraction of the oil from the leaves that we think could be a spray for some pests and as a hot oil that could as an additive to cooking foods.

The flowers are small, yellowy or creamy white. Each flower arises from the axil of a bud scale, forming bunches of eight to ten flowers that look like a small terminal umbel. The flowers are 1–2 cm in diameter and supported by short stalks (5–15 mm).
There are two to three outer leaf-like petals (sepals), 5 mm long, which are joined and quickly shed after the bud splits open. The four to eight strap-shaped inner petals are 5–7 mm long. There are 20–25 stamens in the male flowers (which are noticeably larger than the female flowers) and one carpel in the female flowers. The fruit is
Berry-like, about the size of a pea around 5–8 mm in diameter in the bush (some of our trees are growing larger sized berries up to 12mm in diameter), the berry is shiny, dark red, turning black when ripe, and contains numerous (10–18) seeds. We only use the smaller fully ripened berries for our whole pepper range, the larger fully ripened pepperberries are pre cracked for the customers pepper grinders as the larger size dried pepperberries would exclude their use in normal pepper grinders.

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Tasmanian ripe pepper berries (black in colour) can be 10 times hotter then ordinary pepper and are said to be considered as one of the world's strongest anti-oxidant foods and a rich source of vitamin C. They are also said to be high in antimicrobial and anti-arthritic properties. In the older days using ground pepper berries on food was a way to keep colds and flu at bay.