Is this plant the Brazilian Pepper tree, or something else entirely?
May 6, 2013 12:09 PM   Subscribe

My friend in LA is wondering if she can eat this plant.

I ruled out the Peruvian Pepper tree or molle (Schinus molle) because the leaves aren't right, but then came across the Brazilian Pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius). From the photo it looks like an OK candidate, but she says the berries do not smell peppery (which I would expect based on my experience with the Peruvian/molle pepper).

Another anecdote: It is apparently prominent in her area, in LA. The berries are "all over the ground"

What else could it be?
posted by dahliachewswell to Science & Nature (6 answers total)
I don't think that's a Schinus of any sort. Any chance we can get a picture of the whole tree?
posted by purpleclover at 12:37 PM on May 6, 2013

I wouldn't eat it, especially based on our opinions.

My first thought was Oleander., that wouldn't be such a hot idea.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:09 PM on May 6, 2013

Definitely not the Peruvian pepper tree.
Agreeing with Ruthless Bunny: it looks more like Oleander to me, which is poisonous I think.
And there's a lot more oleander in LA than there are pepper trees of any kind.

You see the peppers more when you get down towards San Diego or into more rural/suburban border areas. You see the oleanders on every single freeway.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:46 PM on May 6, 2013

Fruit is wrong for oleander, and it's unlikely that anyone would describe the distinctly shrubby oleander as a tree.
posted by purpleclover at 1:54 PM on May 6, 2013

This really looks like a wan coffee berry situation to me.

...but I still wouldn't consume it.
posted by batmonkey at 2:53 PM on May 6, 2013

It looks a bit like a lilly pilly, which are edible (but I still wouldn't eat it).
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:47 AM on May 7, 2013

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