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.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate — Alert

Cal-IPC Assessment

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 terebinthifolius Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - See the distribution of this species on Calflora's map of California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • EDDMapS - North American distribution based on Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System.