Christmas berry

Schinus terebinthifolius

Christmas berry

Christmas berry

Legal Status: Unwanted Organism - DOC
Status in New Zealand: Established
Organism: Land plants

This pest is in New Zealand.

Other common name: Brazilian pepper tree


Christmas berry is an evergreen shrub or tree up to 6 m tall. It has a short trunk, which is usually hidden by dense and intertwining branches. It has reddish aromatic leaves with three to 13 finely toothed leaflets. Its white flowers produce short-branched clusters of glossy, green, juicy fruit that turn red and dessicate into a papery shell surrounding the single seed.


Christmas berry is a serious weed in a number of countries overseas. It is only recently naturalised in New Zealand, but sightings in the wild are becoming more common.

What to do

Contact your regional council to determine the status of this species and responsibility for control and/or advice on control.

Useful Resources

Page last updated: 22 April 2016