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Common Name: California Peppertree
Schinus molle is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 8.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Dry regions in the Andes, it is found as a bush in dry lands but reaches tree size in dry river beds with accessible underground water[
Prefers a well-drained soil in full sun[
]. It likes growing in sandy soils[
] and succeeds in a hot dry position[
A fast-growing tree[
] in its native habitat, though it is likely to be much slower in areas where it is marginally hardy[
This species is not very hardy outdoors in Britain, though it can succeed when grown against a sunny wall in the milder areas of the country[
The oily leaves smell and taste of pepper when they are crushed[
Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
The dried and roasted berries are used as a pepper substitute[
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
An (essential?) oil distilled from the fruit is used as a spice in baked goods and candy[
The fruits are pulverised and used in cooling drinks called 'horchatas' in S. America[
A wine is made from the twigs and another from the berries[
A gum that exudes from the bark is used for chewing[