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Brazilian Peppertree

Scientific Name

Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (ITIS)

Common Name

Brazilian peppertree, Christmas berry, Florida holly, broad leaf pepper tree

Native To

South America (Hight et al. 2002)

Date of U.S. Introduction
Means of Introduction

Introduced as an ornamental (Hight et al. 2002)


Forms dense, monospecific stands that crowd out native species; possibly produces chemicals that inhibit the growth of native species (Meyer 2011)

Brazilian pepper tree -
Image use policy

Brazilian peppertree, fruit clusters


Photo by Stephen D. Hight; USDA, Agricultural Research Service

Find more images


  • ARS Research News - Thrips Show Promise in Controlling the Invasive Brazilian Peppertree in Florida

    • Oct 12, 2022
    • USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

    • Brazilian peppertree thrips (Pseudophilothrips ichini) showed promise as biological control agents for invasive Brazilian peppertree populations in Florida according to a recent study published in the Florida Entomologist. Thrips are common insect pests on horticultural plants, but specialized Brazilian peppertree thrips from South America feed exclusively on the Brazilian peppertree's leaves and stem tips. Scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) collaborated with University of Florida and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services researchers to mass produce and release thrips throughout 567 sites in Florida between May 2019 and December 2021.

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Researching Effectiveness of Biocontrol of Invasive Tree in South Texas

    • May 24, 2022
    • DOD. USACE. Engineer Research and Development Center.

    • Scientists at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Ft. Worth District are researching the effects of biocontrol on an invasive tree in south Texas. The Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolia, was introduced to the U.S. as an ornamental in the 1840s. This invasive tree causes problems where it grows because it forms dense thickets, shading out native grasses and shrubs.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government
  • Hight, S.D., J.P. Cuda, and J.C. Medal. 2002. Brazilian Peppertree. In: R. Van Driesche et al. (Eds.), Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States (FHTET-2002-04). Morgantown, West Virginia: U.S. Forest Service Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Schinus terebinthifolius. [Accessed Mar 24, 2023].

  • Meyer, R. 2011. Schinus terebinthifolius. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.