Known by many names including false peppertree, Peruvian peppertree, Peruvian mastic tree, Chilean peppertree and California peppertree, Schinus molle is not actually related to true pepper (Piper sp.) but does produce spicy berries often used as pink peppercorns. An evergreen tree native to South America, hence many of its common names, this fast-growing edible ornamental makes a wonderful shade tree and is tolerant of drought and hot dry summers. Soft feathery, aromatic leaves hang down with a drooping habit and small cream flowers bloom in late spring to early autumn followed by pink berries in late autumn.
Plant in full sun in a well-prepared soil. Peppercorn tree prefers a sunny location in a free-draining soil. Keep an eye out for suckers that may grow from the tree’s base and cut off as soon as they appear. Do not plant near areas of disturbed bushland.