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Health Services > Queensland Poisons Information Centre

Plants and mushrooms


Close up of leaves of the pepperina tree close up of fruit and leaves of the pepperina tree
Category 2 toxicity iconCategory 3 toxicity iconCategory 4 toxicity icon

 Common name   Pepperina
 Botanical name   Schinus molle
 Other common names   Pepper tree, Molle
Family   Anacardiaceae
 General description   A small tree to 8m tall with a drooping habit and soft feathery leaves. Previously popular as a garden ornamental in inland areas, it is now naturalised in some areas of southern Queensland. The tree is quite resinous and aromatic, especially noticeable when the leaves are crushed.
Flowers   The flowers are small and white, with petals about 2.5mm long, and occur in massed inflorescences. Flowers late spring to early autumn.
Leaves   The leaves consist of 9 to 19 leaflets that are sub-opposite, narrowly ovate, 2 to 4.5cm long and 0.3 to 0.6cm wide.
 Fruit/Berries   The fruit are berries, shiny pink to red in colour, rounded in shape and about 5mm in diameter, maturing late spring to early autumn.
Other   The sticky, clear sap may cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals.

If berries are eaten they may cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
When flowering, the tree may cause respiratory irritation, sinus congestion and headache.

Toxicity category   2, 3, 4
Warning   -

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Last Updated: 27 June 2007
Last Reviewed: 31 October 2008