peppertree Anacardiaceae Schinus
molle L. symbol: SCMO
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 8 to 14 inches long, drooping (often curved) foliage with numerous (19 to over 40) narrowly lance-shaped leaflets (each 1 to 3 inches long) entire or with a few widely spaced teeth, peppery fragrance, green to yellow-green above and below.
Flower: Small, flowers with white petals and yellow centers, in loose many branched hanging clusters, appearing in summer.
Fruit: Pink to red, round, berry-like, 1/8 to 1/4 inch across in hanging clusters, ripen in fall and persist through winter, peppery fragrance.
Twig: Slender, yellow-green, drooping; buds are small and pointed; leaf scars are broadly v-shaped.
Bark: Initially smooth gray-brown, later becoming irregularly furrowed with reddish brown splits and grayish coarsely scaly ridges.
Form: A small (up to 40 feet) tree with a round crown with drooping, lacy foliage.
Looks like: Brazilian peppertree - Chinese pistache
Additional Range Information: Schinus molle is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting peppertree.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson