Non - Xeriscape.
Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees.
For The Arizona Desert Environment
Pictures, Photos, Images,
Descriptions, & Reviews.

Brazilian Pepper Tree, Schinus terebinthifolius.

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Brazilian Pepper Tree, Schinus terebinthifolius. Also called: Florida Holly, Christmas Berry, Pepper Tree. Non - Xeriscape. Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees. For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.
Brazilian Pepper Tree, Schinus terebinthifolius.
Arrowhead Ranch, Glendale, Arizona; January 21, 2006.
Brazilian Pepper Tree, Schinus terebinthifolius. Also called: Florida Holly, Christmas Berry, Pepper Tree. Non - Xeriscape. Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees. For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.Brazilian Pepper Tree, Schinus terebinthifolius. Also called: Florida Holly, Christmas Berry, Pepper Tree. Non - Xeriscape. Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees. For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.
Brazilian Pepper Tree.
Schinus terebinthifolius.
Brazilian Pepper Tree.
Schinus terebinthifolius.
Brazilian Pepper Tree, Schinus terebinthifolius. Also called: Florida Holly, Christmas Berry, Pepper Tree. Non - Xeriscape. Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees. For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.Brazilian Pepper Tree, Schinus terebinthifolius. Also called: Florida Holly, Christmas Berry, Pepper Tree. Non - Xeriscape. Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees. For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.
Brazilian Pepper Tree.
Schinus terebinthifolius.
Brazilian Pepper Tree.
Schinus terebinthifolius.

Brazilian Pepper Tree.
Schinus terebinthifolius, Cashew Family: ( Anacardiaceae ), Brazilian Pepper Tree. Also called: Florida Holly, Christmas Berry, Pepper Tree.

We wish to thank Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for some of the information on this page. We share images and information with Wikipedia.

Brazilian pepper is a small bushy evergreen tree or large shrub with compound leaves and shiny red berries. It can reach up to 30 feet tall with a similar spread. It typically grows multi-stemmed trunks creating a tangled mass of arching and crossing branches to form dense thickets. The leaves are odd-pinnate, which is to say the leaflets are featherlike and paired, except for the single leaflet on the tip. The whole leaf is 5 - 8 inches long; they are arranged alternately (not opposite each other) on the twigs; each of the 3 - 13 ( usually 7 ) leaflets are 1 - 2 inches long; the rachis is winged; and the leaves have a pepper - turpentine smell when bruised. Throughout the summer and fall, Brazilian pepper produces 6 inch long panicles (clusters) of tiny white flowers, followed by bright red berry like drupes that last all winter until eaten by the birds and other animals.

Brazilian pepper is native to Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. It has been widely grown as an ornamental but has proven to be extremely invasive. Brazilian pepper has established and become naturalized in most tropical and subtropical parts of the world, including the rest of South America, and Central America. The related pepper tree (S. molle) is grown as an ornamental in California and the American SW. It also has escaped cultivation and become a weed in some areas.

Even though it is sold at many nurserys in Arizona, we definately do not recommend this tree. It is in the same family as Poison Ivy.

Brazilian pepper should not be cultivated because 1) it is illegal to do so in many places; 2) it is disruptive of natural communities and species; 3) it causes skin rashes and respiratory irritation in many people.

It's a real pity this tree is so invasive and disruptive of natural communities. Brazilian pepper is a beautiful evergreen with showy bright red berries that can be used for Christmas decorations. Honey bees make honey from the flowers. The berries are also a very important food source for birds and other animals in the many areas of the world.

Here is a quote from an article in the Arizona Republic, Jan. 17, 2004.

"It's really not a great choice for the desert," said Lucy Bradley, a horticultural agent with the University of Arizona's Maricopa County Cooperative Extension. "Because it is not adapted to the desert, the Brazilian pepper, and other trees like it, respond to droughtlike conditions. by dropping their leaves, so that transpiration (the loss of water through evaporation) does not take place."

"If you are looking for a shade tree that also is low-water-use and provides an inviting habitat for wildlife, we suggest the cascalote (yellow winter flowers ); any sweet acacias (yellow winter flowers ); ironwood (lavender flowers); or silk floss (orchidlike flowers)."

This plant is now considered the worst invasive plant in Texas!


Quick Notes:

Height: 12 To 30 feet. Spread may reach 30 feet.

Flowers: 6 inch long panicles (clusters) of tiny white flowers.

Flowering Time: May - September.

Fruit: Bright red berry like drupes.

Bark: Thin, gray to light brown and smooth but becomes furrowed into narrow, firm ridges and darkens with age.

Leaves: Bright Green. Pinnate odd, 3 to 5 leaflets ( sometimes 7 ), 5 - 8 inches long, each of the 3 - 13 ( usually 7 ) leaflets are 1 - 2 inches long.

Found: Native to Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Found in South and Central America, Mexico, Tropical and subtropical parts of the world, including the USA. Found throughout Arizona at lower elevations. The USDA claims it is now native to the USA (CA, FL, HI, TX), USA+ (PR, VI).

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Elevation: In Arizona usually at 850 to 1,600 feet.

Habitat: Lower elevations where water is available. It grows well in sand, sandy loam, clay and other heavy soils. It needs good drainage and aeration. It is remarkably tolerant of alkali. In its native habitat it is found at the base of "barrancos" where, even during the dry season, a small amount of water is always present in the soil.

Miscellaneous: Flowering Photos Taken at Sun City, Arizona. January 16, 2006.

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