Seeds of this plant are used as a pepper substitute in the Far East but also the fruits and leaves, even its bark are used as a condiment. An unusually thorny shrub with composed leaves and numerous small, red fruits that show a black shiny seed when opening in the Autumn. Zanthoxylum piperitum is a medium sized shrub, easy to grow, drought tolerant and not fussy to soil conditions. The foliage turns a spectacular orange and yellow during the Autumn. Its spines don't die but grow with the plant, becoming a showy feature on the trunk of older plants (with a 4-5cm long base). It is dioecious in theory but we found that most plants will fruit on their own. The Japanese Pepper Tree / Sansho is suitable for smaller gardens, by a wall or in a border, but also good for the patio if grown in a container. It also makes a good bonsai.