Schinus terebinthifolius

Schinus terebinthifolius_Brazilian peppertree_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Schinus mucronulata, S. antiarthriticus

Common names: Brazilian pepper tree; Christmas-berry tree; Christmasberry; Florida holly

Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian peppertree) is an evergreen shrub or tree found along portions of the southern coast of California. Brazilian peppertree prefers riparian areas, canyons, fields and roadsides where some water is available throughout the year. Its pink fruits are sold as peppercorns, but they may be toxic to humans and animals if too many are eaten. In California, Brazilian peppertree is not yet a very large problem, but is has been a very aggressive invader in tropical areas like Hawaii and Florida. In order to control peppertree infestations, tree roots must be removed or killed, and seedlings must be controlled by hand-pulling for at least three years.

Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

Other Resources

Symposium Presentations

  • editor (2009). Wildland Weed News. Cal-IPC News. 16: 3, 13.
  • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2004). Partnering to prevent invasions of plants of horticultural origin. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.

Cal-IPC News Articles

  • Bell, C. E., M. Evans, et al. (2000). Exotic pest plants, Calif. Assoc. of Nurserymen, and CalEPPC. CalEPPC News. 9: 9-10.
  • Burkhart, B. and M. Kelly (2005). Which weeds dominate southern California urban riparian systems? Cal-IPC News. 13: 4-5,12.
  • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2005). Don't sell a pest: A new partnership to prevent plant invasions through horticulture. Cal-IPC News. 13: 4-5,14.
  • Kelly, M. (1997). Lessons from the front: Taking stock to avoid surprises. CalEPPC NEWS. 5: 4-7.
  • Kelly, M. (2000). Education: Wildland weed tours and talks. CalEPPC News. 8: 3-4.
  • Schneider, D. (1994). Slow-motion explosion: The exponential spread of exotic species. CalEPPC News. 2: