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Mountain Pepper

Drimys lanceolata

A true garden aristocrat, this refined evergreen shrub is a great specimen or formal hedge plant for mild climate gardens. The oval-shaped, deep green leaves are held along beautiful red young stems. Creamy yellow-green perfumed blossoms enhance the distinctive foliage. Leaves may be used to add a spicy, peppery flavor to foods. This male selection will not fruit.
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Filtered sun, Full sun, Partial shade, Partial sun

Water when top 2 inches of soil is dry.

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Botanical PronunciationDRY-miss lan-see-oh-LAY-tuh
LoreDrimys lanceolata is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are produced on separate plants. Female plants require a nearby male plant for pollination in order to produce berries. The aboriginals of its native habitat as well as colonists found the dried fruit of Drimys lanceolata to be a perfect substitute for pepper, and it is still used widely for that purpose today. Though colloquially referred to as Tasmanian Pepper, Monrovia's selection is male and will not produce berries.
Average Size at MaturityReaches 8 to 12 ft tall, 4 to 8 ft. wide.
Bloom TimeLate Winter to Early Spring
Design IdeasThis distinctive evergreen shrub lends a refined elegance to the garden. Planted in mass as a foundation plant, the glossy foliage will provide a wonderful background to shorter flowering shrubs. Striking dark red stems and leaf petioles stand out especially when grouped with red or burgundy-leaved companions. Attractive as a single specimen shrub, it also takes well to pruning into a formal hedge.
Deciduous/ EvergreenEvergreen
Flower AttributeFragrant
Flower ColorYellow
Foliage ColorDark Green
Garden StyleAsian/Zen, Tropical
Growth HabitCompact, Rounded
Landscape UseHedge, Mass Planting, Privacy Screen, Specimen, Coastal Exposure, Wildlife Garden, Urban Garden, Kitchen Garden
Light NeedsFiltered sun, Full sun, Partial shade, Partial sun
Special FeatureEasy Care, Year-round Interest, Compact Form
Water NeedsModerate
Watering NeedsWater when top 2 inches of soil is dry.
Companion PlantsWeigela (Weigela); Barberry (Berberis); Smoke Tree (Cotinus); Japanese Maple (Acer); Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina)

Prefers moist, well-drained soil. Water deeply, regularly during the first few growing seasons to develop an extensive root system. Tolerates brief drought, once established. In zone 7 and 8, a sheltered location is recommended, to protect from cold, harsh winter winds. Prune as needed to shape, ideally just after flowering.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 7-10

USDA Cold Hardiness Zone Map

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

Your climate may be too cold for this plant