Story: Shrubs and small trees of the forest

Horopito tree (1st of 2)

Horopito tree

Horopito, or mountain pepper tree (Pseudowintera colorata), is found in wet upland forests throughout many of New Zealand’s mountains. It is one of New Zealand’s most unpalatable plants, as its leaves contain a chemical that leaves a peppery taste and burning sensation when chewed. In recent years, its ground leaves have been used as a condiment in ethnic foods.

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Photograph by Maggy Wassilieff

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How to cite this page:

Joanna Orwin, 'Shrubs and small trees of the forest - Pepper trees: horopito and kawakawa', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 June 2022)

Story by Joanna Orwin, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Jul 2015