Schinus polygamus
Chilean pepper tree

Anacardiaceae (cashew family)
Schinus polygamus leaves are simple, alternate and sometimes also fascicled and whorled. John Rawlings, ca. 2005

This pepper tree or shrub differs significantly from the other two pepper trees that are more widespread on campus: it has spines on the ends of the shoots, and the leaves are not pinnate but simple and only about an inch long. When crushed they do not have a strong odor. The very small yellow flowers make a fine display in summer and are followed by clusters of dark purple peppercorns.

Examples are north of the Cantor Center, in the redwood grove east of Herrin Hall (Biology), and just outside the fence of the southeast side of Frost Amphitheater.

Name derivation: Schinus – Greek name for mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), which it resembles; polygamushaving both imperfect (pistillate and/or staminate) flowers and perfect flowers on the same plants.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.