Pepperberries - Knowledgebase Question

Bolton, CT
Question by natcraft
November 2, 1997
What are pepperberries? I see them used in many crafts. I have a tree that in in fall has berries similar to them. Do they grow on shrubs, trees.,etc.? Are they edible? What is the name of the plant?


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Answer from NGA
November 2, 1997

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I found 2 different plants referred to as peppertrees.
Plants of the genus Macropiper are small trees or shrubs which have small berries. They are tender and will only grow in frost-free regions.

There is a plant in the genus Schinus, common names California Pepper Tree, Brazilian Pepper Tree, or Christmas Pepper Tree. It is grown mostly for it's decorative fruit, which is a small purple, pink, red or white berrylike drupe. There are two species grown in California and one grown in Brazil which is also called a Christmasberry tree for it's bright red fruit.

I would assume one of these is what you are referring to, and it doesnt appear either will grow in Connecticut! Too bad, it sounds nice doesn t it?
No mention was made concerning its edibility, so assume they are toxic!

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