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Toxic parts

The seed contains an allergenic substance that can irritate the mucus membrane[1].

Edible uses


The dried and roasted berries are used as a pepper substitute[2][3][4][5][1]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

An (essential?) oil distilled from the fruit is used as a spice in baked goods and candy[5]. The fruits are pulverised and used in cooling drinks called 'horchatas' in S. America[6][2][5]. A wine is made from the twigs and another from the berries[6].

A gum that exudes from the bark is used for chewing[2][3].

Unknown part

Material uses

An oil from the leaves reduces the surface tension of water[1].
There are no material uses listed for Schinus molle.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

A resinous gum obtained from the bark has been used in folk medicine to treat digestive disorders[7]. A purgative known as 'American Mastic' is obtained from the tree[8]. This report is probably linked to the one above[K].

Unknown part


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a warm greenhouse in mid spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter before planting out in early summer[K]. Cuttings of almost ripe wood, 8cm with a heel, August to early September in a frame. Fair to good percentage[9].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Schinus molle. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a well-drained soil in full sun[1]. It likes growing in sandy soils[10] and succeeds in a hot dry position[11].

A fast-growing tree[10] in its native habitat, though it is likely to be much slower in areas where it is marginally hardy[K]. This species is not very hardy outdoors in Britain, though it can succeed when grown against a sunny wall in the milder areas of the country[11][1]. The oily leaves smell and taste of pepper when they are crushed[8].

Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Schinus molle. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Schinus molle.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Schinus molle
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    8 x 8 meters
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

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    "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    1. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    2. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    3. ? Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Pesman. M. W. Meet Flora Mexicana. Dale S. King. Arizona. (1962-00-00)
    5. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    8. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    9. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Taylor. J. The Milder Garden. Dent (1990-00-00)

    "image:Gavaran.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Schinus molle"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyAnacardiaceae +
    Belongs to genusSchinus +
    Has binomial nameSchinus molle +
    Has common nameCalifornia Peppertree +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part +
    Has edible useCondiment +, Drink + and Gum +
    Has fertility typeSelf sterile +
    Has flowers of typeDioecious +
    Has growth rateVigorous +
    Has hardiness zone9 +
    Has imageGavaran.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has mature height8 +
    Has mature width8 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useDigestive + and Purgative +
    Has primary imageGavaran.jpg +
    Has search nameschinus molle + and california peppertree +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameSchinus molle +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Schinus molle +, Schinus molle +, Schinus molle +, Schinus molle + and Schinus molle +