Brazilian Pepper Control (Shinus terebinthifolius)

Brazilian Pepper Control (Shinus terebinthifolius)

Francisco Rivera Melendez, UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County

Brazilian pepper-tree is a native of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. It is thought to have been introduced into Florida around 1842-1849 as a cultivated ornamental plant. Schinus is the Greek word for mastic-tree, a plant with resinous sap, which this genus resembles.

Seedlings are flood-tolerant, but a rapid change of water level up or down causes some mortality. About 20 percent of seedlings exposed to fire re-sprout. Flowering occurs predominantly from September through November. Male flowers last only 1 day. Female flowers last up to 6 days and are pollinated by insects. Fruits usually are mature by December. Birds and mammals are the chief means of seed dispersal. Seed viability is 30 to 60 percent and can last up to 2 months, but declines to 0.05 percent at 5 months. Many native species have a lower percentage of germination than Schinus. The high seed viability combined with animal dispersing agents may explain colonization by Brazilian pepper-tree in our native plant communities.

Brazilian pepper-trees can be controlled by cutting them down and treating the stumps with herbicide. A saw should be used to cut the trunk as close to the ground as possible. Within 5 minutes, an herbicide that contains the active ingredient glyphosate or triclopyr should be applied as carefully as possible to the thin layer of living tissue, called the cambium, which is just inside the bark of the stump.

Poisonous Part: Bark, leaves, fruits

Active Principle: triterpene alcohols, ketones, acids, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpene

Affected Livestock: Horses, Cattle, Birds

Sign: hemorrhages, intestinal compaction, and fatal colic


Active ingredient Application Methods
Triclopyr (Remedy, Garlon, Element, Ultra, Pathfinder II) Cut stump


Basal bark

Glyphosate Cut stump


Imazapyr Cut stump

Foliar (low volume)

Basal bark Should only be applied by licensed herbicide applicators.


Posted: March 22, 2021


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