Schinus terebinthifolius
Photo by PlantRight

Brazilian pepper tree


  • This plant has a Plant Risk Evaluator rating of No PRE Rating
  • This plant has been rated Limited by the California Invasive Plant Council


Native to Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and naturalized in Hawaii and Florida, this tree grows to 30 ft. tall and wide, with darker green, coarser, glossy leaves than Schinus molle, and showy red berries in winter. It has been planted as an ornamental since the 1800's.

Where Schinus terebinthifolius has become locally invasive in riparian areas in Southern California, its dense canopy shades out other vegetation. It is problematic from Riverside to the coast, including Ventura and San Diego counties, including the San Diego River. It is also found in Santa Clara County. It is usually found below 200 m elevation, especially in canyons and washes. See CalWeedMapper for its current distribution in California outside of cultivation.

Ripe fruits can be transported by birds (especially robins) and mammals, and its seeds can also be spread by water.

Why is this plant not included on the invasive plant list?

Schinus terebinthifolius was included in the nursery survey in 2013, 2015, and 2016, and was found at less than 3% of nurseries in California during each of those surveys, so it does not meet one of the criteria of being sold at more than 3% of nurseries in the state, making it not a priority plant.

More information

For more information about this plant, please see the following resources: