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common name: Pepper Tree, Japanese Prickly Ash
synonyms: Fagara piperita, Xanthoxylum piperitum, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
full sun, part shade
moist soil, clay soil, sandy soil
preferred soil pH: neutral-alkaline
minimum temp: -15°C
USDA zone: 7 to 8
Upright, spiny deciduous shrub with aromatic foliage of pinnate leaves, with up 23 ovate, toothed, mid to dark green leaflets. Panicles of small cup-shaped greenish yellow flowers in early summer, later followed by berry-like red fruits that split to release black seeds. Dioecious, needing both male and female plants to produce seed.
Moist, well drained fertile soil in a sunny position.
From seed, root cuttings or separation of rooted suckers.
Fruit and seeds are used for flavouring and as a condiment in oriental cookery. Commercially cultivated in Japan.
Used in eastern and herbal medicine.
Native of Japan, Korea and Northern China