Schinus molle

Schinus molle_Peruvian peppertree_JM DiTomaso
Photo: Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: Peruvian peppertree; California peppertree

Schinus molle (Peruvian peppertree) is an aromatic, evergreen shrub or tree (family Anacardiaceae) found in central and southern California. It is native to more arid parts of the Andes and elsewhere in south America and has been widely introduced as a street tree elsewhere around the world. Like its close relative, Brazilian peppertree (S. terebinthifolius), Peruvian peppertree has escaped cultivation to become invasive in California, as well as in other regions such as Australia and southern Africa. Peruvian peppertree grows to 15 m and has glabrous, pinnately compound leaves with narrow leaflets. Fruits are pink and occasionally sold as a spice. This tree can invade desert washes and other dry habitats and is considered mildly invasive in southern California.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

CDFA Rating: None?


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.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Schinus molle Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • GBIF - Global distribution information.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • The Plant List - Global taxonomic resource and collaborative clearinghouse from Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Missouri Botanic Garden and others.
  • Additional photos

    Schinus molle_flowers_RonVanderhoff
    Schinus molle (Peruvian peppertree) flowers. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Schinus molle_leaf and fruits_copyright2009_NealKramer
    Schinus molle (Peruvian peppertree) leaf and fruits. Photo: &#169 2009 Neal Kramer