Schinus molle, Peppercorn Tree, Californian pepper, Peruvian mastic tree,
Hebrew: פלפלון רך, Arabic: الفلفل البيروفي

Scientific name:  Schinus molle L.
Common name:  Peppercorn Tree, Californian pepper, Peruvian mastic tree
Hebrew name:  פלפלון רך
Arabic name:  الفلفل البيروفي
Family:  Anacardiaceae, אלתיים

Flora of Israel, Fleurs sauvages, Wildblumen, Fiori, флоры, Flores Silvestres

Life form:  Phanerophyte, tree
Stems:  4–13 m tall; young stems cylindric with faint ridges and wrinkles, often turning red on exposed surfaces
Leaves:  Alternate, compound, pinnate, smooth
Inflorescence:  Panicle of cymes, 6−25 cm long, unisexual, axillary and terminal, open, lax to pendent on lateral branchlets, many-flowered, bracteate, minutely puberulent; peduncle 1.5−4.5 cm long
Flowers:  Calyx 5-lobed, cup-shaped; 5 petals, white, yellow, widely spreading, broadly elliptic to ovate; stamens 10 in 2 whorls; pistil 1
Fruits / pods:  Drupelike, with 1 stone, spheroid, 4.5-6 mm, red, rose-red, pink; glabrous; mesocarp resinous, aromaric; endocarp, wrinkled ovoid or spheroid, 3-4.5mm long
Flowering Period:  May, June, July, August
Habitat:  Ornamental tree escaped from cultivation; disturbed habitats
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands
Chorotype:  American
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Schinus molle, Peppercorn Tree, Californian pepper, Peruvian mastic tree, פלפלון רך


Derivation of the botanical name:
Schinus, Greek, schinos, "the mastic tree". The name is derived from the Ancient Greek name for another genus in the same family, pistacia "pistachio". Mastic is the resin of Pistacia lentiscus.
molle, mollis, "swaying", "swinging", "pliant", "easily moved", "soft", "graceful".
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.

Introduced in 1920-30



Schinus molle, Peppercorn Tree, Californian pepper, Peruvian mastic tree, פלפלון רך
Location: Sede Boker, Ben Gurion's Hut