|Botanical Name||Litsea spp.|
Mountain Pepper is a deciduous shrub or small tree, 8-10 m tall. Branchlets are hairless or silky-velvet-hairy. Leaves are alternately arranged, on hairless leaf-stalks, 6-20 mm long. Leaves are lance-shaped, oblong, or elliptic, 4-11 x 1.1-2.4 cm, hairless on both surfaces or silky-velvet-hairy below, lateral veins 6-16 pairs, base wedge-shaped, tip tapering, or pointed
Flowers are borne in solitary or clustered, 4-6-flowered umbels. Flowering occurs before leaves or with leaves. Flower-cluster-stalk is 2-10 mm long, reflexed or straight, hairless or silky-velvet-hairy. Male flowers have 6 tepals, broadly ovate; fertile stamens 9 Fruits are nearly spherical, about 5 mm in diameter, pepper-like black at maturity.
The fruit is processed for its lemony essential oil. The oil can also be extracted from the leaf, but this is considered to be lower in quality. The timber is sometimes used for making furniture and crafts. Flowers are eaten raw with chilly chutney. Mountain Pepper is found in Eastern Himalayas, from Nepal to Bhutan, NE India, Burma, Indo-China, Java, China, Taiwan, at altitudes of 300-3200 m. Flowering: December-March