Schinus molle

California Pepper Tree
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Plant Type




Overall Mature Size


Mature Height & Spread

25-40′ x 25-40′


Full sun


Medium, Low Water

Flower Color


Bloom Time


Special Features

Attractive Bark, Low Water Use

Container Sizes

#5, #15, 24″ Box, 36″ Box, 48″ Box

Natural Growth Habit


Sunset Garden Zones

8, 9, 12-24, H1, H2

Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone


Fast-growing evergreen tree to 25-40’ tall and wide. This durable species forms an attractive open crown of gracefully-weeping branches cloaked with pinnately compound medium-green leaves that have a pungent odor when crushed. Creamy-yellow flowers appear in summer and are followed by clusters of showy reddish-pink fruit that persist from fall into winter. Adding further appeal to this species is its attractive, rough-textured, twisting pale-gray bark. Heat, drought, wind and smog tolerant, this tough species is well-suited as a shade tree for park settings or large open areas. It should be noted that the fruit production can be heavy and somewhat messy which should be considered when choosing a planting location. Thrives in a variety of different soil conditions including poor, rocky soils that would not likely support the growth of many other species. Requires a full sun exposure and little water once established.


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