Called peppercorns, the Sichuan peppercorn or Zanthoxylum bungeanum, are not actually peppercorns at all. Sichuan peppercorns are the outer pod of the fruit of the prickly ash bush, a plant native to China.
Sichuan peppercorns have a volatile oil content of about 4%-7% which are mostly made up of terpenes.
Indigenous to China, Sichuan peppercorns are also called aniseed pepper, Chinese pepper, Chinese prickly-ash, Fagara, Indonesian lemon pepper, Japanese pepper, Nepal pepper, or Szechwan pepper. Youll also find these alternative spellings - Szechuan, Szechwan and Schezuan. They are also sometimes called "Sansho Pepper" but this is a mistake as Sansho Pepper, while in a similar family, is actually a different plant entirely. It is also occasionally called dried prickly ash or flower pepper. In French it is called "poivre de setchuan," in German it is "Szechuan-pfeffer," in Hindi it is "tilfda," in Japanese it is confusingly called "sansho" in Portuguese it is "piment sechuan," and in Russian you will hear "sychuan skij perets."