Brazilian peppertree Anacardiaceae Schinus
terebinthifolius Raddi symbol: SCTE
Leaf: Evergreen, alternate, pinnately compound, 3 to 12 inches long, drooping (often curved) foliage with 3 to 13 ovate to lanceolate entire or serrate leaflets (very immature leaves may be toothed) each 1 to 2 inches long, reddish sometimes winged rachis, turpentine fragrance, shiny green to yellow-green above and paler below with pale midribs.
Flower: Species is dioecious; small flowers with 5 white petals and yellow centers, in 2-3 inch clusters, appearing in late summer to early fall.
Fruit: Pink to red, round, berry-like, 1/8 to 1/4 inch across in tight, peppery fragrance, ripen in midwinter and persisting with the meat drying out and the papery skin remaining on the seed.
Twig: Yellow-green, leaf scars are narrow and broadly v-shaped.
Bark: Initially smooth gray-brown, later becoming irregularly furrowed with reddish brown splits and grayish ridges.
Form: A small (up to 40 feet) tree with a spreading crown, branch tips drooping.
Looks like: peppertree - Chinese pistache - shining sumac - poison sumac
Additional Range Information: Schinus terebinthifolius is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting Brazilian peppertree.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - 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