Sunday, January 3, 2010

Brazilian Pepper, Schinus terebinthifolius: a pretty plant but a dangerous harmful invasive in Florida wetlands

Imported as an ornamental in the mid 19th Century, this plant is now widespread and difficult to eradicate. It looks like a sumac and is a member of the Anacardiaceae. Until this visit, I had only seen it in disturbed wetland habitats along the highway, but this trip we took advantage of one of the only dog-beaches in Central Florida, and found a huge population of Brazilian Pepper along the 1500 foot trail to the beach. The prognosis isn't real good either; any root over 1/4" in diameter can resprout so mechanical control is out of the question and herbicide is such a tough call in a barrier island/peninsula situation.

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