Brazilian peppertree

Sapindales > Anacardiaceae > Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi
Synonym(s): Christmas berry, Florida holly

Brazilian peppertree is a broadleaved, evergreen shrub or small tree that invades natural and disturbed areas in Hawaii, Florida, Texas and California. Plants can grow to 30 ft. (9 m) tall. The alternate, dark green leaves are pinnately compound and slightly toothed along leaflet margins. Leaflets are opposite along a (usually) winged rachis and 1-2 in. (2.5-5.1 cm) long. Leaves smell strongly of pepper or turpentine when crushed. Trees are dioecious with clusters of small, white, 5-petaled flowers developing in the leaf axils of young stems. Trees flower year-round, but flowers are most concentrated in the fall. Fruit are small, bright red berries. Brazilian peppertree invades a variety of habitats including old fields, forests, hammocks, ditches, and wetlands. It forms dense thickets that displace native vegetation. Brazilian peppertree is native to South America and was first introduced into the United States in the 1840s as an ornamental.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources


Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Seedling(s);
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Amy Ferriter, South Florida Water Management District, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Amy Ferriter, South Florida Water Management District, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Dan Clark, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Amy Ferriter, South Florida Water Management District, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); fruit
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; with fruit
Dan Clark, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Dan Clark, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); habit
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); habit
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Ann Murray, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Randy Westbrooks, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Management; Americorps removing debris
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Management; debris after Americorps project
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Management; trimmed up after Americorps project
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Control; removal along bike trail
Dan Clark, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • California - Invasive Plant Inventory
  • Florida - EPPC list
  • Texas - Noxious Weed Law
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia