Alert: Limited Online Availability

Now that summer is here, we have limited our stock for online purchase. Find Monrovia plants at your local garden center. Pre-order for 2023 will be available later this year. ×

We no longer grow this plant.
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California Pepper Tree

Schinus molle

Handsome, rustic look from older trees. Attractive, somewhat weeping form holds clusters of pinkish fruit in fall and winter. Plant where there is room to spread. Use in firescaping. Evergreen.
There are very few rules in gardening, but perhaps the most important one is to work within your zone. Choosing plants that grow and thrive in your particular climate is the very first step toward having a beautiful garden . Learn More

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Full sun

Once established, needs only occasional watering.


Due to the seasonal nature of plants, availability at your local garden center is not guaranteed. Give them a call before visiting.

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Botanical PronunciationSKY-nus MOL-le
LoreThis tree is called the California pepper but it is not native. It was brought to the old missions by Franciscans who needed a very drought resistant shade tree.
Average Size at MaturityFast grower to 25 to 40 ft. tall and wide, larger with age.
Bloom TimeSummer
Design IdeasA perfect tree for expansive shade in xeriscape gardens. Traditional choice for rural California and southwestern homesites and landscapes. May be used as a street tree or to line a long drive. Plant a pair to frame a large gateway so dangling foliage will meet gracefully overhead.
Deciduous/ EvergreenEvergreen
Flower ColorWhite
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleMediterranean
Growth HabitWeeping
Growth RateFast
Landscape UseFirescaping/Firewise
Light NeedsFull sun
Soil NeedsTree & Shrub Food
Special FeatureNaturalizes Well, Showy Fruit, Tolerates Alkaline Soil, Tolerates Poor Soils, Waterwise, Year-round Interest, Bird Friendly
Water NeedsLow
Watering NeedsOnce established, needs only occasional watering.
Companion PlantsCombine its feathery foliage and pink berries in the large garden with the Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) for its dark, green leaves. Shares similar water requirements with Santa Barbara Mexican Bush Sage, (Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara'), Bennet's White Rockrose, (Cistus x 'Bennet's White') and El Dorado Ceanothus, (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Perado').

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 8-11

USDA Cold Hardiness Zone Map

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