Schinus molle     
California pepper tree   
Anacardiaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Form: single or multistemmed tree, dark green, moderately weeping form
close-up of leaf
leaf form
Seasonality: evergreen
Size: 30-40ft with equal spread
Leaves: pinnately compound, linear, length varies from 6-12in, leaflets to 2.5 in long
Flowers: in leaf auxillary, off-white
Fruit: round reddish seeds (like bait salmon eggs), strong pepper scent
Stems/Trunks: gray when young, exfoliating with age for a appearance, cracks reveal reddish color underneath
Range/Origin: Peru, naturalized in Mexico and southern California
Hardiness: to low twenties

tree bark
trunk detail
note transition between young and older (shaggy) bark



Schinus molle

when choosing nursery-grown specimen, it is critical to select plant with sturdy trunk for this tree

susceptible to Texas Root Rot

overwatering leads to chlorosis and branch growth that is prone to breakage

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This page was first created July 4, 2001 and last modified March 16, 2006.

Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
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