Pepperberry for Decorating - Knowledgebase Question

Canton, MI
Question by cbastion
January 1, 1999
I would like to find what I've heard referred to as a pepperberry. It's used for ornamental purposes, especially with Christmas greenery. I believe the berry starts out white and turns red. Is this the correct name?

Answer from NGA
January 1, 1999


You're right, the berry you see in holiday decorations is probably pepperberry (botanical name: Schinus molle). Unfortunately, this native of Peru is not hardy in your region. Other sources of red berries would be winterberry (Ilex verticillata), or a viburnum such as 'Oneida', which has red fruit that persists through late winter. Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) also has red berries. It is hardy to zone 6 with protection, so you should be able to grow it in suburban Detroit, but probably not in other parts of the state.

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