Szechuan Pepper, Zanthoxylum simulans, It is often called by it’s common name of Prickly Ash.
There are a number of peppers that manage the common name of Szechuan pepper but we have found this one to be particularly useful as a spice.
Z.simulans has many advantages, in the garden especially. It is not a fussy plant but does not like to have it’s feet wet for too long.
So best avoid the clay that does not drain well. Also, it is not fond of drying out for too long either, so, if you can manage to avoid these two extremes you will have happy plants and therefore plenty of spice. Z.simulans is also self fertile and does not require a mate but we feel that several bushes are essential to keep the kitchen stocked up with spice.
Trimming is essential as the longer you leave it between trims, the less visually appealing the shrub becomes.
We prune straight after harvest (Late Summer) and generally at the beginning of Spring as well.
We sow in late Winter and stock until they either run out or grow too large to keep in the Nursery.