Brazilian Pepper | University of Redlands

Frequent Identify: Brazilian Peppertree

Scientific Identify: Schinus terebinthifolius

Household: Anacardiaceae


Behavior: The Brazilian Peppertree is a small tree or shrub that invades pure and distributed areas in Hawaii, Florida, Texas, and California5. These small bushes attain roughly thirty toes in peak at maturity and have a life span of round 30 years.  They generally develop in big selection of hydrologic situations and in areas of secondary succession as a pioneer species6. The Brazilian Peppertree has a great resilience for shade and an especially poor resilience for chilly temperature making it restricted to invading solely in hotter southern California areas10.

tree.jpgDetermine 1 Brazilian Peppertree. Taken by: Cheyenne Walser

Leaves: The leaves on the Brazilian Peppertree often alternate in sample (Determine 2). Brazilian Peppertree leaves are darkish inexperienced, 1-2 inches lengthy, and barely toothed alongside the leaflet margins. The leaves are pinnately compound which means the “leaflets are hooked up alongside an extension of the petiole known as a rachis; there’s a terminal leaflet and subsequently an odd variety of leaflets”8. The leaves of the Brazilian Peppertree have a powerful scent of pepper or turpentine when crushed.

topleaves.jpgDetermine 2 Prime of a Brazilian Peppertree’s leaf. Taken by: Cheyenne Walser

bottomleaves.jpgDetermine Three Backside of a Brazilian Peppertree’s leaf. Taken by: Cheyenne Walser

Twigs & Bark:

The twigs of the Brazilian Peppertree are a yellow-green shade. The twigs are v-shaped and have a clean texture. The bark of this tree is initially clean with a grey/brown shade. Throughout maturity the bark turns into tough and the splits flip a crimson/brown shade11.twig.jpgDetermine Four An in depth up of the twig on a Brazilian Peppertree11.

bark.jpgDetermine 5 Shut up of Brazilian Peppertree’s bark. Taken by: Cheyenne Walser

Flowers & Fruits:

The flowers of the Brazilian Peppertree are clusters of small, white, 5-petaled flowers which measure roughly 2-Three inches lengthy. The female and male flowers of the Brazilian Peppertree have related traits. These flowers are in season from September by November.

flowers2.jpgDetermine 6 Twigs the place clusters of white flowers kind, taken by: Cheyenne Walser.

flowers3.jpgDetermine 7 Open cluster of flowers7.

The berries of the Brazilian Peppertree are clusters of shiny fruit that seem inexperienced initially. At maturity the berries of this tree change into brilliant crimson with darkish brown seeds which measuring 0.3mm in diameter. These fruits ripen by December in Southern California.

fruit.jpgDetermine Eight Purple berries of the Brazilian Peppertree9.

The place It’s From

Native Vary: These bushes may be present in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The place the Brazilian Peppertree is invasive it invades a number of habitats together with outdated fields, forests, hammocks, ditches, and wetlands. This tree varieties dense thickets that displace native vegetation. The Brazilian Peppertree is native to South America and was launched into america starting within the 1840’s5.

range.pngDetermine 9 The native vary map of the Brazilian Peppertree3.

Ecological notes:

The Brazilian Peppertree has a fast progress and replica price because it not solely produces many seeds but in addition can endure harsh useful resource situations.  It has the flexibility to resist floods, fires, droughts and re-sprouts shortly after being minimize.  This aggressive weed displaces native crops in Florida the place it’s thought of probably the most invasive plant species1.

What we use it for

The Brazilian Peppertree is mostly used within the area of medication. The extract of the Brazilian Peppertree’s berries has lately been discovered to disrupt the signaling amongst methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus micro organism. The leaves of the Brazilian Peppertree are mostly identified for use as an antiseptic and anti inflammatory therapy for wounds and ulcers. Some components of the tree may also be used as a therapy for urinary infections in addition to respiratory infections4.


  1. Bargeron, C. T. (n.d.). Brazilian Peppertree. Retrieved February 18, 2019, from
  2. Heart for Aquatic and Invasive Vegetation. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2019, from
  3. Greg Wheeler. (n.d.). Analysis Gate. Retrieved March 23, 2019, from


  1. Hess, P. (n.d.). Scientists Use Invasive Plant to Deal with Antibiotic-Resistant Micro organism. Retrieved February 18, 2019, from
  2. Invasive Plant Atlas of america. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. IPCW Plant Report. (2017, October 16). Retrieved February 18, 2019, from
  4. James H. Miller. (n.d.). USDA Forest Service. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from
  5. Plant Morphology. (n.d.). Retrieved from taught/biodiversity_counts/ident_help/Parts_Plants/types_of_compound_leaves.htm
  6. Shaun Winterton. (n.d.). Aquarium and Pond Vegetation of the World Version 3, USDA APHIS PPQ. Retrieved from
  7. Texas Invasive Species Institute. (2014). Retrieved March 24, 2019, from
  8. John Vendor. Virginia Tech Dendrology. (2019). Retrieved March 23, 2019, from


Cheyenne Walser ’21 & Lindsey Hollifield ‘21, BIOL 338: Evolution, Ecology, & Conduct, Fall 2019

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