Evergreen shrub or small tree, also known as Mountain Pepper Tree, found in upland forests throughout many of New Zealand’s mountains. Its leaves contain a chemical that leaves a peppery taste and burning sensation when chewed. Some claim it is unpalatable but in recent years, its ground leaves have been used as a condiment in ethnic foods. They can be used as a hot cooking spice, either fresh or dried. Both Maori and Early Settlers to New Zealand used it medicinally to treat skin diseases such as ringworm, and diarrhoea. Horopito is easily recognised by its red-blotched leaves with a blue-grey underside. Available from 2014.