Try growing: Brush Pepperberry (Tasmannia insipida)

It's been so hot recently, who doesn't want to spend a bit of time hanging out in a cool, damp, shady rainforest? Or you can create a bit of a rainforest feel at home by growing this fabulous local plant: Brush Pepperberry (or Tasmannia insipida if you want the scientific name).

Brush Pepperberry is a shrub of the rainforest understorey; you can see it growing in damp, shady places such as the Mount Keira Scout Camp. While in natural settings it is often rather leggy, it may be much bushier if grown in a garden.
Not the best shot, but this bushy plant is growing well in a sheltered spot in Keiraville. Image by Emma Rooksby.
Brush Pepperberry does best in a semi-shade position, in rich, moist soil, and will benefit from a bit of extra watering in long dry periods. The narrow strips of land either side of a typical suburban house is a good spot to try it. It can be grown underneath taller plants, like as Coffee Bush (Breynia oblongifolia) or any number of trees such as Guioa (Guioa semiglauca) or White Aspen (Acronychia oblongifolia). 

Like its more famous relation Mountain Pepperberry (T. lanceolata), the fruit of this species is edible and has a strong, aromatic, peppery flavour. The fruit can be used, fresh or dried, as a substitute for regular pepper.
The fruit are attractive and edible too. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Fully ripe fruit have the strongest, most peppery flavour. Image by Kath Gadd. All rights reserved: http://malleedesign.com.au
Are you growing Brush Pepperberry? How do you use the fruit, or do you leave them for the birds?

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