Drimys lanceolata (Poir.) Baill.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Drimys lanceolata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/drimys/drimys-lanceolata/). Accessed 2021-12-02.

Genus

Common Names

  • Mountain Pepper

Synonyms

  • Winterania lanceolata Poir.
  • D. aromatica (R. Br.) F. v. Muell.

Glossary

carpel
Female reproductive organ of a flower. Composed of ovary style and stigma. Typically several carpels are fused together in each flower (syncarpous). The number of them can be of taxonomic significance; it can often be assessed by counting the stigma branches or the chambers in the fruit.
androdioecious
With only male or only hermaphrodite flowers on individual plants.
linear
Strap-shaped.
oblanceolate
Inversely lanceolate; broadest towards apex.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Drimys lanceolata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/drimys/drimys-lanceolata/). Accessed 2021-12-02.

A dense evergreen shrub or small tree attaining 15 ft high in the wild state. Young stems rich crimson and remaining so for a year or more. Leaves elliptic to oblanceolate, bluntly or sharply pointed, tapered at the base into a short stalk, which is coloured like the stems; they are variable in size, from 35 to 3 in. or more long, 25 to 135 in. wide; medium green and glossy above, paler beneath, leathery. Flowers dioecious, about 12 in. wide, produced in April and May in fascicles at the ends of the previous season’s growths; sepals deciduous, 15 in. long; petals two to eight, whitish, linear or narrowly oblanceolate; female flowers with a single carpel; male flowers with twenty to twenty-five buff-coloured stamens. Fruit black.

Native of Tasmania, where it is very abundant, and of Victoria and New South Wales; introduced in 1843. The leaves are aromatic and have a pungent, peppery taste; the dried fruits have been used as a substitute for pepper. Although reputed to be tender, this species seems to have survived the winters of 1961-3 in most of the few gardens where it is grown. The form introduced by Comber in 1929 certainly appears to be quite hardy, given shelter from cold, drying winds. It is of dense, broadly columnar habit and has leaves to about 134 in. long.

The mountain pepper is a handsome evergreen, very distinct in the deep red tints that suffuse the stems, buds and petioles, and might well be tried as a hedge-plant in sheltered gardens (it is already being used as such in Ireland). The female flowers are inconspicuous, but the male, with their dense clusters of pinkish-buff stamens, are quite pretty.