Schinus molle

Schinus molle

name = Peruvian Pepper

regnum = Plantae
unranked_divisio = Angiosperms
unranked_classis = Eudicots
unranked_ordo = Rosids
ordo = Sapindales
familia = Anacardiaceae
genus = "Schinus"
species = "S. molle"
binomial = "Schinus molle"
binomial_authority = L.Citation
last =Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)
title =Taxon: Schinus molle L.
publisher =United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area
url =
accessdate =2008-07-06
] |

Peruvian Pepper ("Schinus molle", also known as American pepper, Peruvian peppertree, escobilla, false pepper, molle del Peru, pepper treeCitation
title =PLANTS Profile: Schinus molle L. (Peruvian peppertree)
publisher =United States Department of Agriculture
url =
accessdate =2008-07-06
(Archived by [ WebCite] )] , peppercorn tree, Californian pepper tree, pirul and Peruvian mastic.Citation
last =Blood
first =Kate
year =2001
title =Environmental weeds: a field guide for SE Australia
publication-place =Mt Waverley, Victoria, Australia
publisher =CH Jerram
page =36-37
isbn =0957908601
] ) is an evergreen tree that grows to 15 meters (50 feet). It is native to the Peruvian Andes. The fruit of "Schinus molle" are bright pink in color and often sold as "pink peppercorns", although "S. molle" is not related to the true pepper.


"Schinus molle" is a fast growing evergreen tree that grows to 15 meters (50 feet) tall and 5-10 meters (16-33 feet) wide. It is the largest of all "Schinus" species and potentially the longest lived.Citation
last1 =Goldstein
first1 =David John
last2 =Coleman
first2 =Robin Christine
publication-date =December 2004
year =2004
title ="Schinus molle" L. (Anacardiaceae) "Chicha" production in the Central Andes
journal =Economic Botany
publication-place =New York, USA
publisher =Springer New York
volume =58
issue =4
pages =523-529
issn =1874-9364
doi =10.1663/0013-0001(2004)058 [0523:SMLACP] 2.0.CO;2
] The upper branches of the tree tend to droop. The tree's pinnately compound leaves measure 8-25 cm long x 4-9 cm wide and are made up of 19-41 alternate leaflets. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Flowers are small, white and borne profusely in panicles at the ends of the drooping branches. The fruit are 5-7 mm diameter round drupes with woody seeds that turn from green to red, pink or purplish, carried in dense clusters of hundreds of berries that can be present year-round. The rough grayish bark is twisted and drips sap. The bark, leaves and berries are aromatic when crushed.


"S. molle" is native to the arid zone of Northern South America, Mexico and Peru's Andean deserts. It has, however, become widely naturalized around the world where it has been planted as an ornamental and for spice production.Citation
last1 =Iponga
first1 =D.M.
last2 =Milton
first2 =S.J.
last3 =Richardson
first3 =D.M.
publication-date =May 2008
year =2008
title =Superiority in competition for light: A crucial attribute defining the impact of the invasive alien tree Schinus molle (Anacardiaceae) in South African savanna
periodical =Journal of Arid Environments
volume =72
issue =5
pages =612-623
issn =0140-1963
doi =10.1016/j.jaridenv.2007.10.001
] "S. molle" is a drought tolerant, long-lived, hardy evergreen species that has become a serious invasive weed internationally. In South Africa, for example, "S. molle" has invaded savanna and grasslands and become naturalised along drainage lines and roadsides in semi-desert. It is also invasive throughout much of Australia in a range of habitats from grasslands to dry open forest and coastal areas, as well as railway sidings and abandoned farms. In the United States, either "S. molle" or its close relative "Schinus terebinthifolius" is particularly invasive in Florida and Hawaii, and can also be found in southern Arizona, southern California, Texas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico.Citation
last =Elfers
first =S.C.
publication-date =1988-10-13
year =1988
title =Element Stewardship Abstract for Schinus terebinthifolius
publication-place =Arlington, Virginia, United States
publisher =The Nature Conservancy
url =
accessdate =2008-07-06



Although not related to commercial pepper ("Piper nigrum") the pink/red berries, like the berries of its close relative the Brazilian pepper ("S. terebinthifolius"), are sold as "pink peppercorns" and often blended with commercial pepper. The fruit and leaves are, however, potentially poisonous to poultry, pigs and possibly calves. Records also exist of young children who have experienced vomiting and diarrhea after eating the fruit.

Extracts of "S. molle" have been used as a flavor in drinks and syrups.


In traditional medicine, "S. molle" was used in treating a variety of wounds and infections due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties.Citation
last1 =Ferreroa
first1 =Adriana
last2 =Alejandra
first2 =Minettib
last3 =Cristina
first3 =Brasa
last4 =Zanettia
first4 =Noelia
publication-date =2007-09-25
year =2007
title =Acute and subacute toxicity evaluation of ethanolic extract from fruits of Schinus molle in rats
periodical =Journal of Ethnopharmacology
volume =113
issue =3
pages =441-447
issn =0378-8741
doi =10.1016/j.jep.2007.06.019
] It has also been used as an antidepressant and diuretic, and for toothache, rheumatism and menstrual disorders, with recent studies providing some support for its antidepressant effects.Citation
last1 =Machadoa
first1 =Daniele G.
last2 =Kastera
first2 =Manuella P.
last3 =Binfaréa
first3 =Ricardo W.
last4 =Diasc
first4 =Munique
last5 =Santosb
first5 =Adair R.S.
last6 =Pizzolattic
first6 =Moacir G.
last7 =Brighentec
first7 =Inês M.C.
last8 =Rodrigues
first8 =Ana Lúcia S.
publication-date =2007-03-30
year =2007
title =Antidepressant-like effect of the extract from leaves of "Schinus molle" L. in mice: Evidence for the involvement of the monoaminergic system
journal =Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
publisher =Elsevier
volume =31
issue =2
pages =421-428
issn =0278-5846
doi =10.1016/j.pnpbp.2006.11.004
] It has also been speculated that "S. molle"'s insecticidal properties make it a good candidate for use as an alternative to synthetic chemicals in pest control.


The word" 'molle' "in" 'Schinus molle' "comes from the Quechua word for the tree," 'molli"'.

The Inca used the sweet outer part of ripe fruit to make a drink. Berries were rubbed carefully to avoid mixing with the bitter inner parts, the mix strained and then left for a few days to produce a refreshing and wholesome drink. It was also boiled down for syrup or mixed with maize to make nourishing gruel.Citation
last =Coe
first =Sophie D.
year =1994
title =America's first cuisines
publisher =University of Texas Press
page =186-187
isbn =029271159X

There is also significant archaeological evidence that the fruits of "S. molle" were used extensively in the Central Andes around 550-1000 AD for producing "chicha", a fermented alcoholic beverage.


The tree reproduces through seed and suckers. Seeds have a particularly hard coat and germination rates are greatly improved after seeds have passed through the gut of birds or other animals. Seeds germinate in spring, with seedlings slow growing until established.


External links

* [ "Schinus molle" List of Chemicals (Dr. Duke's)]
* [ Database entry for Schinus molle at Raintree Nutrition, Inc.]

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  • Schinus Molle — Mastic Mas tic, n. [F., fr. L. mastiche, mastichum, Gr. ?, fr. ? to chew, because of its being used in the East for chewing.] [Written also {mastich}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Bot.) A low shrubby tree of the genus {Pistacia} ({Pistacia Lentiscus}),… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Schinus molle — noun small Peruvian evergreen with broad rounded head and slender pendant branches with attractive clusters of greenish flowers followed by clusters of rose pink fruits • Syn: ↑pepper tree, ↑molle, ↑Peruvian mastic tree • Hypernyms: ↑tree •… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Schinus molle — ID 75985 Symbol Key SCMO Common Name Peruvian peppertree Family Anacardiaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Introduced to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution CA, FL, HI, PR, TX Growth Habit Tree …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Schinus molle L. — Symbol SCMO Common Name Peruvian peppertree Botanical Family Anacardiaceae …   Scientific plant list

  • Schinus — Schinus …   Wikipédia en Français

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