Alien Vegetation – Brazilian Pepper Tree
David Pledger posted an important article on the Brazilian Pepper Tree over the weekend that SFT felt important to pass on to readers who are not on Facebook or who did not see the post.
“Having just cleared a plot in Santareme of invader species, I am convinced that this tree is the biggest single threat to our indigenous species at SFB . It is classified as a CAT1 (b) prohibited invader which means that its presence is illegal unless controlled in a garden. That makes it illegal in any vacant plot. Owners are compelled by law to remove and to prevent regrowth. As a community we need to do all we can to enforce the removal of this invader, including its removal from gardens as its rapid, haphazard growth makes it really unsuitable for ornamental use and the seeds are distributed by birds”
Common name: Brazilian pepper tree
Scientific name: Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae)
Alternative common names:
Brazilian holly, Christmas berry tree, pepper hedge, South American pepper (English); Brasiliaanse peperboom (Afrikaans)
An evergreen shrub or tree growing up to 6m high with wide-spreading, horizontal branches. The dark green leaves have prominent, pale veins above and are paler and smoother below, while the leaflets are more round. Small, creamy-white flowers appear from September to March. Male and female flowers develop on separate trees. Fruits are bright red, slightly fleshy, one-seeded spherical drupes and are poisonous. The sap is a skin irritant and affects the respiratory tract