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Pink Peppercorn, the false pepper: Shinus molle

Shinus molle, pink peppercorn

Shinus molle, or pink peppercorn, is an elegant tree native to South America.

Pink Peppercorn facts, a short list

Name: Schinus molle
Common: false pepper, peruvian peppertree
Family: Anacardiaceae
Type: tree

Height: 50 to 65 feet (15 to 20 meters)
Exposure: full sun
Soil: ordinary

Foliage: evergreen  –  Blooming: spring → fall  –  Fruit set: summer → fall

Planting pink peppercorn

It is recommended to plant pink peppercorn in spring, for it to avoid starting off by having to face winter.

Watering is recommended at the beginning, without overdoing it, and it must later be restricted.

Pruning pink peppercorn

Shinus molle doesn’t need any pruning. Let it grow and it’ll be even more appealing. The long, weeping fronds look quite like those of the weeping willow tree.

Diseases and pests on peruvian peppertree

It will only rarely fall sick.

A common pest you’ll find is black aphid, for which it’s a favorite host plant. Since it attracts these aphids, try not to plant this tree near your citrus (black aphids propagate citrus foot rot among other diseases).

Learn more about Pink Peppercorn

Pink peppercorn, or Schinus molle, tree with fruitThis tree tends to grow extremely fast, and can reach up to 50 feet (15 meters) in just a few years.

The pink or red berries it produces release a very fragrant scent, close to that of pepper, but aren’t directly edible. After drying them, you can still add a few to recipes, but beware of allergies (same family as the cashew nut).

The blooming is a creamy white or yellow color, grouped in bunches that appear during the month of May.

  • Note: This tree is considered invasive in South Africa and in Australia. In California, it’s recognized as an invasive plant but with only a limited negative impact.

Smart tip about pink peppercorn

Pink Peppercorn is an excellent shade tree that resists cold temperatures down to 23°F (-5°C).

Images: 123RF: Rafael Santos Rodriguez; own work: Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois
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