Brazillian Pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius)

Gil Nelson nelson at FREENET3.SCRI.FSU.EDU
Thu Mar 31 11:01:05 EST 1994

Brazilian pepper was introduced into FL in 1989 by the US Dept of Ag.
It is native to Brazil and is quite attractive.  It is now a serious pest,
as your post indicates.  It is a member of the Anacardiaceae which is well
known for a number of important food crops. It invades flatwoods and other
native habitats and threatens the native flora.  It has increased since
the Hurricane but time will tell whether the storm hasened the spread. Birds
help distribute the plant and some work is underway, I understand, to figure
out how to control it.  Hope this helps.

Gil Nelson
nelson at

On 30 Mar 1994 byrne at wrote:

> April 1994 Scientific American reports on new plant life in Florida
> Everglades, including the "Brazillian Pepper" (Schinus terebinthifolius).
> Apparently this ornamental tree was brought to Florida in 1892 and is
> now rampant. After 1992's Hurricane Andrew, it spread into mangrove
> stands where it is difficult to remove.
> The article says "The pepper's seeds are mildly hallucinogenic and
> some biologists report seeing birds so intoxicated from these seeds
> that they could not fly".
> Does anyone know anything else about this? 
> Is it really a "pepper" plant, whatever that means?
> What does it look like? Are these controlled substances?
> -- 

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