View Full Version : Schinus molle (Pepperina)

05-10-11, 07:52 PM
Common name: Pepperina WARNING TOXIC

Botanical name: Schinus molle

Other common names: Pepper tree, Molle

Family: Anacardiaceae

Distribution: it is now naturalised in some areas of southern Queensland.

Field Notes: A small tree to 8m tall with a drooping habit and soft feathery leaves. Previously popular as a garden ornamental in inland areas. The tree is quite resinous and aromatic, especially noticeable when the leaves are crushed. The flowers are small and white, with petals about 2.5mm long, and occur in massed inflorescences. Flowers late spring to early autumn.
The leaves consist of 9 to 19 leaflets that are sub-opposite, narrowly ovate, 2 to 4.5cm long and 0.3 to 0.6cm wide.
The fruit are berries, shiny pink to red in colour, rounded in shape and about 5mm in diameter, maturing late spring to early autumn.
The sticky, clear sap may cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals.

Symptoms:If berries are eaten they may cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
When flowering, the tree may cause respiratory irritation, sinus congestion and headache.

06-10-11, 04:24 PM
the leaves...

I had this one already to upload, you beat me to it!


06-10-11, 06:13 PM
I had to beat you to uploading one Plant sooner or latter Corin:)

Dusty Miller
06-10-11, 06:25 PM
There used to be a myth at the local primary school that rubbing the sap onto your hands would make the cane not hurt. Of course it didn't and wouldn't come off and dirt became irremovably stuck on your hands for ages.

18-11-13, 07:18 PM
Over the weekend I was shown this plant by a friend. Every dead branch I found on this particular tree was "punky". I had only previously heard of charred punkwood taking a spark, but my friend assured me that this wood could take a spark directly and form an ember without any processing other than hitting anything that isn't bark with a spark from a firesteel. Sure enough, we broke a branch off, split it down the middle, then threw sparks onto that inner wood and it started an ember immediately. It rapidly grew in size and produced a lot of heat. I had to use a stick for about a minute to jam into the embers to put them out in the main piece of wood. I thought it was really cool. Other woods I have just randomly found have not been able to do this. Has anyone achieved this with other punkwoods? I'd be interested to know...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3832/10921900053_339bfe92e7_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/)

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3723/10921914963_f854d4be4a_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/)

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3814/10921748164_a5a43caa1a_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7326/10921595545_76732ab354_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/)

19-11-13, 06:46 AM
A common planting around older Australian farms and properties because it was supposed to keep flies away.

The crushed leaves are very aromatic.


19-11-13, 07:29 AM
Hey AP that's really interesting. Out of interest have you tried it with a flint and steel? I will be trying this for sure.

19-11-13, 11:28 AM
No but before I posted I did a quick forum and google search and found that some punk wood in north America does this and for flint and steel they crush it in their hand before sparking. If you do this with a fire steel it will ignite. K was spot on, this tree is on an old sheep station homestead, and isn't something that I think you'd find in the bush which is what got me thinking about native woods gone punky. I'd be interested to know what this wood is like dead and not punky, I know it is mentioned in the bowdrill timbers thread...

Also thinking out aloud - would be an interesting way to keep an ember for a fire, stuff a fist sized piece in a tin can and restrict oxygen somewhat? It would probably last a while...