Schinus terebinthifolius (ANACARDIACEAE) Broad-leaved Pepper Tree

Weeds to Whack

A tree with erratic spreading branches usually to 7 m tall, sometimes larger. Young branches have lenticels (breathing pores). New stems might be softly hairy. Older bark is rough and fissured. Leaves are compound with up to usually egg-shaped leaflets (sometimes oval). The petiole has a swelling at the base. Opposite, hairless leaflets are sessile (without petioles) and there is a terminal leaflet. Margins entire or sometimes serrated, especially in juveniles. Flowers are greenish-white borne on branched inflorescences.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Close-up of fruit

Fruits are green, cream, then bright red and glossy, spherical, each containing a single seed. This is a woody weed on the ascendance, escaping from gardens into nearby bush. It is a very hardy plant especially as it grows older and develops its tough, ridged bark.
Photo: Robert Whyte