Scientific name
Schinus molle1

Family name

Originates from Peru, Andes

Local name(s)
Qundo berbere (Amargna), Pepper Tree (English)

General description
S. molle is a tree with attractive light weeping foliage to 15m with a short trunk and a spreading crown. The bark is dark-brown, peeling, very sticky latex forms if the bark is damaged. The leaves compound to 30cm with many narrow leaflets to 7cm, with a peppery smell if crushed. The flowers are very small and green-yellow in colour. The fruits are hanging on female trees. They are small round berries, green to red then black.

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
The fruits are edible. Children consume the fruits in normal times. They are also used as a spice. Dried the fruits are similar to pepper and can be used as a spice. Children and youngsters also mix fresh fruits with water to make a spicy drink that is liked. Adults do neither drink the latter mixture nor do they consume fresh fruits in normal times. When it comes to food shortage, adults may also consume the fruits.

S. molle is an evergreen tree commonly planted in dry warm climates throughout the world. It will grow in almost any soil but prefers well-drained sites. It is extremely drought resistant once established and reaches maturity in less than 20 years. It grows in semi-arid lowlands, in dry, moist and wet low-, mid- and highlands from near sea level to 2,400m.

Propagation method(s)
Propagates by seedlings and by coppicing.

Sample location(s)
Ibnat woreda, South Gonder.

The species is fast growing and pollarding, lopping and coppicing. In Ethiopia it is mostly planted as an avenue tree along roadsides or as an ornamental. Other frequent uses are firewood and charcoal production, bee forage, soil conservation, shade, windbreak and its leaves are used as an insect repellent.

1 Parts of the following description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 408/409

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S.molle tree and ripe fruits  in Ibnat village, South Gonder, February 2001.

S.molle roadside plantings (one year old) for an ORDA Food-For-Work project near Ibnat village in Ibnat Woreda South Gonder, June 1999.