The Brazilian Pepper Tree Schinus terebinthifolius is a highly invasive alien invasive species. The Brazilian Pepper Tree Schinus terebinthifolius has become a serious weed in South Africa, California, Florida and Hawaii, USA. It is also known to be invasive in Australia, New Zealand, as well as in many Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean islands.

Although it is not invasive in its native range it has become an aggressive woody weed in exotic locations, displacing native vegetation as well as rapidly invading disturbed sites, often naturalizing. High growth rate, wide environmental tolerance, prolific seed production, a high germination rate, shade tolerant seedlings, attraction of biotic dispersal agents and the ability to form dense thickets all contribute to this species being highly invasive in its exotic range.

It is especially suited to colonizing disturbed sites and can grow in both wet and dry conditions. Its growth habit allows it to climb over under story trees and invade mature canopies, forming thickets that choke out most other plants.

The Brazilian pepper is a Category 1 invasive plant, which means it is a prohibited plant that will no longer be tolerated, neither in rural nor urban areas, except with the written permission of the executive officer or in an approved biocontrol reserve. These plants may no longer be planted or propagated, and all trade in their seeds, cuttings or other propagative material is prohibited. They may not be transported or be allowed to disperse.

Plant species were included in this list for one or more of the following reasons: they might pose a serious health risk to humans or livestock, cause serious financial losses to land users, be able to invade undisturbed environments and transform or degrade natural plant communities, use more water than the plant communities they replace or be particularly difficult to control. Most of the plants in this category produce copious numbers of seeds, are wind or bird dispersed or have highly efficient means of vegetative reproduction.

Whereas some of these plants were introduced inadvertently, have no obvious function to fulfil in South Africa and are generally regarded as undesirable, many of them are popular garden or landscaping plants. What they all have in common, however, is the fact that their harmfulness outweighs any useful properties they might have. Care was taken not to include a plant in this category if part of the population of South Africa would suffer because of its absence. The ornamentals in this category ought to be reasonably easy to replace with less invasive substitute.

Here is a pin to see this tree “in real life.”

resources for this article:…/Legal-Obligations-Regarding…

and thanks to Richard Arderne of Pam Golding St Francis Bay for the pin and photos and for your commitment to conservation.