University of Florida

Brazilian Pepper-tree

Imported from South America in the 1840s, Brazilian pepper-tree quickly spread into natural areas, taking over native tree hammocks, pine flatlands and mangrove forest communities. Once called "Florida holly" for its bright red berries, branches were often used as Christmas decorations in Florida. It's against the law to sell or purposefully plant Brazilian pepper-trees. If you have one in your landscape and want to remove it, be careful: its leaves and sap can irritate the skin. Cut down the plant and spray the stump with herbicide.

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