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Brazilian Pepper Schinus terebinthifolius


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Alternate name: Florida Holly, Brazilian Peppertree, Christmas-berry

Family: Anacardiaceae, Cashew view all from this family

Description Sprawling shrub or small tree. Branches upright, reclining, or nearly vine-like, all on same plant. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound with leaflets roughly oval, with rounded apex and yellowish veins. Leaf rachis between the leaflets usually slightly winged. Dioeceous, with small white flowers borne profusely in axillary clusters. Fruit small red spherical drupe carried in dense clusters of hundreds of berries.

Dimensions Height: 9 m. (30 ft.).

Warning The sap of this poison ivy relative can cause skin irritation on contact. Some people have an adverse reaction to the pollen as well.

Habitat Swamps (fresh & salt), Grasslands & prairies, Fields.

Range Florida, California, Texas.

Discussion Common names include Brazilian Pepper, Aroeira, Florida Holly, Rose Pepper, and Christmasberry. Like many other species in the family Anacardiaceae, Brazilian Pepper has an aromatic sap that can cause skin reactions. Previously ornamental, now banned due to invasive and toxic character. Prohibits growth of other plants, disturbs habitats.