Common name: Brazilian pepper tree
Botanical name: Schinus terebinthifolius
Other common names: Broad-leaved pepper tree
General description: A small tree which grows up to 6m tall, sometimes up to 16m, previously planted as a garden ornamental, but now a weed in coastal areas. The tree is quite resinous and aromatic, especially when the leaves are crushed.
Flowers: The flowers are small and white, with petals about 2mm long, and occur in massed inflorescences.
Leaves: The leaves consist of 5 to 9 leaflets opposite to each other. The leaflets are 3 to 8cm long and 1.5 to 3.5cm wide.
Fruit/Berries: The fruits are bright red, shiny berries, rounded in shape, about 6mm in diameter.
Other: The sap is clear and sticky. Schinus terebinthifolius is a restricted (category 3) species under Queensland’s Biosecurity Act 2014.
Symptoms: If berries are eaten they may cause vomiting and diarrhoea. The sap may cause dermatitis and eye irritation.
When flowering, the tree may cause sneezing, asthma-like reactions and headache.
Toxicity category: 2, 3, 4
Warning: For all eye exposures rinse the eye with water for 15 minutes and then seek urgent medical assistance.