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Title: Brazilian Pepper Management Plan for Florida : A publication of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's Brazilian Pepper Task Force, chaired by Dan Clark
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Title: Brazilian Pepper Management Plan for Florida : A publication of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's Brazilian Pepper Task Force, chaired by Dan Clark
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Language: English
Creator: Ferriter, Amy ; Editor
Publisher: Florida International University
Place of Publication: Miami, FL
Publication Date: July 1997
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    Brazilian pepper task force members
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Full Text

crazilian Pepper
management Plan
for Florida
Edited by Amy Ferriter

A report from
The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's
Brazilian Pepper Task Force
Dan Clark, Chairman
July, 1997

Brazilian Pepper
Management Plan
for Florida

Recommendations from
the Brazilian Pepper Task Force
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
July, 1997

Amy Ferriter, Editor
Dan Clark, Brazilian Pepper Task Force Chairman

The Brazilian Pepper Management Plan was developed to provide criteria to make recommendations
for the integrated management of Brazilian pepper in Florida. This is the first edition of the Brazilian
Pepper management Plan for Florida. It should be periodically updated to reflect changes in
management philosophies and operational advancements.

Mention of a trade name or a proprietary product does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the
product by the Brazilian Pepper Task Force or the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. There is no express
or implied warranty as to the fitness of any product discussed. Any product trade names that are listed
are for the benefit of the reader and the list may not contain all products available due to changes in
the market.

Table of Contents

I. IN T R O D U C T IO N ........ ........................... .................................... 1
Brazilian Pepper Task Force
II. P RO BLEM STATEM EN T ............................................................................. ................. .. 2
Amy Ferriter
III. G O A L ............................................................. ........................... 2
Brazilian Pepper Task Force
IV O B JE C T IV ES ........................................ ....................................................... ............. . . 2
Brazilian Pepper Task Force
V. RECO M M ENDATIO NS ............................................................................... 3
Amy Ferriter and Dan Thayer
VI. TECHNICAL BACKGROUND................................................. .................5
A Biology of Brazilian Pepper............................................................. ... .............. 5
Vernacular Nam es David Jones .................. ................ ............................... 5
Taxonom y and C lassification D avid Jones................................. .......................5
Vegetative & Reproductive Morphology David Jones..........................................5
Reproductive Biology, Phenology, and Growth David Jones..................................7
C hem istry and Toxico logy D avid Jones ........................................ .......................8
Economy ic U ses D avid Jones ............................................ ... ............. 9
B. Distribution, Ecology, and Economic Impact ................................................. 10
Distribution and Ecology David Jones and Don Schmitz....................................10
Economy ic Im pact D on Schm itz............................... ............... .... .11
C M anagem ent Techniques ................... ................... ................... ................. 12
Biological Control Dale Habeck ............... .................................. ........... .......
M echanical Control -Todd Loadholtz ......................... ..................... .................13
Physical Control D an C lark ....................................... ..................... 13
Herbicidal Control Francois Laroche and Gordon Baker ................. .................14
D. Proposed and Enacted Laws........ ............................................ .............. 19
Amy Ferriter
V II. RESOURCE M ANAGEMENT APPROACH ............................... .................................... 20
Dan Thayer
V III. C ASE STU D IES ........................................................................... 21
A. Big Cypress National Preserve .......................... ..................... ....21
Tony Pernasand Patrick Kenney
B B iscayne N atio nal Park ........................................ ...................... 2 1
Bo James
C. D e Soto N national M onum ent............................... ....... ................ ........... 21
Bo James
D Everglades National Park ...................... .............. .......... .................. 21
David Jones and Doug Devries
E. H ole in the D onut M litigation Project................................................................. 22
David Jones and Doug Devries
F. S a n ib e l Is la n d .................................................... .................. . 2 3
Erick Lindblad and Dan Clark
G M yakka R iver State Park ......................................................... ................. 24
Thomas Medel
IX L IT ER A T U R E C IT ED .............................................................. ......................................2 5
X A P P EN D IX ..............................................................2 7
IX L T R A U R IT D ... ... ... .. .. ... ... ... ... .. .. ... ... ... .. .. .. ... ... ... .. .. ... ...III.. 2

Brazilian Pepper Task Force Members

Dan Clark, Chair
City of Sanibel,
Natural Resources Department
800 Dunlop Road
Sanibel, FL 33957
(941) 472-3700

Gordon Baker
South Florida Water
Management District

Dean Barber
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection

Doug Devries
Everglades National Park

Amy Ferriter
South Florida Water
Management District

Dr. Dale Habeck
University of Florida

Francois Laroche
South Florida Water
Management District

Todd Loadholtz
Brevard County

Thomas Medel
Sarasota County

Tony Pernas
Big Cypress National Preserve

Don Schmitz
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection

Jackie Smith
Florida Department
of Environmental Protection

Dan Thayer
South Florida Water
Management District

David Jones
Everglades National Park

Invasive exotic pest-plants are a threat to Florida's
natural areas. The problems associated with foreign
aquatic infestations are well documented. Water
hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is notorious for
restricting navigation and reducing water abatement
in flood control canals. Navigation has been the
primary concern for federal and/or state-sponsored
nuisance plant control efforts. Unfortunately, many
upland and wetland exotic plant management issues
have been largely overlooked.
Without an organized forum to address invasive
exotic plants in the state's natural areas, early control
efforts were spotty at best. In 1982, concerned
resource managers in Florida organized the Exotic
Pest Plant Council (EPPC). The EPPC was established
to unify the exchange of information between land
management agencies, research scientists, industry
and other interested groups that were concerned with
the impacts of exotic plants in natural areas, and to

serve as an advisory body to other groups or
agencies. The EPPC has identified a list of Florida's
Most Invasive Species. Brazilian pepper (Schinus
terebinthifolius Raddi) is identified as a species that is
widespread in Florida, and poses a significant threat
to Florida's natural areas.
The Brazilian pepper Management Plan provides
recommendations from the Brazilian Pepper Task
Force (BPTF) a working committee of the Exotic
Pest Plant Council for the integrated control of
Brazilian pepper in Florida. The BPTF is an intera-
gency group of professionals who either have direct
experience in managing Brazilian pepper or have the
technical knowledge required for an integrated man-
agement approach. It is the consensus opinion of the
BPTF that the uncontrolled expansion of Brazilian
pepper constitutes one of the most serious ecological
threats to the biological integrity of Florida's natural

S Brazilian pepper, native to Brazil,
Argentina, and Paraguay (Mytinger, 1987),
'v.:1i introduced into the United States as an
: irni.rmental. This evergreen, dioecious, insect-
pollinated tree belongs to the Anacardiaceae family
(Loope and Dunevitz, 1981). It has bright red fruits
and shiny green leaves which helped promote it as a
popular holiday substitute for holly in Florida,
quickly earning the misnomer Florida holly (Morton,
1969). Morton (1979) suggested that this plant was
first introduced at the turn of the century by the Plant
Introduction Service. However, Brazilian pepper was
advertised in seed catalogs as early as 1832, over 60
years beforehand, in New York (Mack, 1991).
Brazilian pepper has been reported to have
successfully naturalized in over 20 countries, now
occurring in two sub-tropical belts (15-300 N and S)
worldwide (Ewel et al., 1982). In the United States,
Brazilian pepper (either S. terebinthifolius or S. molle)
is found in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, California,
Hawaii, as well as the commonwealth of Puerto
Rico. Although Brazilian pepper is an aggressive
colonizer in Florida and Hawaii, it has not become
widely naturalized in southern California and is, in
fact, still a popular ornamental.
Brazilian pepper is a pioneer of disturbed sites
such as highway, canal and powerline rights-of-way,
fallow fields, and drained cypress stands, but it is also
successful in many undisturbed natural environments
(Woodall, 1982). Brazilian pepper successfully
colonizes many native plant communities, including
pine flatwoods, tropical hardwood hammocks, and
mangrove forest (Loope and Dunevitz 1981, Ewel, et
al., 1982, Woodall 1982). The invasion of this aggres-
sive, woody weed poses a serious threat to species
diversity in many of Florida's native ecosystems, and
is eliminating many indigenous sources of food for
wildlife (Morton, 1979).
In addition to its threat to Florida's natural areas,
Brazilian pepper also poses several health and safety
problems. A relative of poison ivy (Toxicodendron radi-
cans), direct contact with the sap can cause severe and
persistent skin irritation. Airborne chemical emissions
from the blooms can also cause sinus and nasal con-
gestion, rhinitis, sneezing, headaches, and eye irrita-
tion in some individuals (Morton, 1979). Consumption
of foliage by horses and cattle can cause hemorrhages,
intestinal compaction, and fatal colic. Birds that feed
excessively on the fruit have been known to become
intoxicated and later die (Morton, 1978).
Several of its attributes have facilitated the spread
of Brazilian pepper throughout Florida. Its fruits are
commonly consumed by frugivorous birds. The

dispersal of seeds by these birds, namely: mocking-
birds, cedar-birds, and especially migrating robins
has been responsible for the escape of this species
into outlying, non-Brazilian pepper dominated
ecosystems, especially those that include perches
such as trees and utility lines (Ewel et al., 1982).
Although specific introduction points are
not clear, the popularization of Brazilian pepper
in Florida can be attributed to plant enthusiast
Dr. George Stone (Morton, 1978). In 1926, while
residing in Punta Gorda on the west coast of
Florida, he reportedly raised hundreds of plants.
These seedlings were then distributed among his
friends and many were planted along city streets
(Morton, 1978).
It wasn't until after 1950 that Brazilian pepper
became conspicuously dominant in Florida (Ewel et
al., 1982). Davis (1942) for example, did not remark
on the presence of the species in his description of
everglades vegetation. In 1969 however, biologists at
Everglades National Park were expressing, with
alarming concern, that Brazilian pepper had the
potential to destroy many of South Florida's natural
areas (Morton, 1979).
Brazilian pepper now covers hundreds of
thousands of acres in south and central Florida, as
well as many of the islands on the east and west
coasts of the state (Bennett and Habeck, 1991).
Biannual exotics surveys conducted by the South
Florida Water Management District indicate that
Brazilian pepper is the most widespread exotic plant
in the state occupying more than 700,000 acres
(Ferriter, unpublished).

The goal of the Brazilian Pepper Task Force is to
protect the integrity of Florida's natural ecosystems
from the biological degradation caused by the
invasion of Brazilian pepper.

The Goal of the Brazilian Pepper Task Force can
be achieved through the following objectives:

1. Eliminate Brazilian pepper from Florida's
natural ecosystems.
2. Achieve an overall reduction of Brazilian
pepper throughout Florida such that maintaining
Florida's natural areas Brazilian pepper-free is
economically feasible.
3. Implement an effective public information
awareness and participation program that will
encourage support for Brazilian pepper
management issues.

The following are priority
recommendations as suggested by the
-members of the BPTF.
1. Secure funding for the continued evaluation
and subsequent release of Brazilian pepper
biological control agents into Florida. The
foundation of an effective control program for an
aggressive pest-plant like Brazilian pepper requires
the successful introduction of biological controls.
Woody plant species such as Brazilian pepper
require several different biocontrol agents.

2. Seek additional funding for the construction,
staffing, and operation of a quarantine facility in
South Florida. The total cost of building such a
facility in South Florida has been estimated at
$4,000,000. The U.S. Congress has authorized
its construction and has allocated $1,250,000 to
date. While the facility is being promoted as a
way to accelerate the search for biological control
agents for melaleuca, the facility would also be
available for other environmental weeds such as
Brazilian pepper.

3. Encourage Brazilian pepper control programs for
Florida's publicly-owned natural areas.

4. Enhance existing control programs through coor-
dinated efforts to seek additional funding sources.

5. Seek partnerships with concerned citizen groups
to participate in Brazilian pepper control
programs. Citizen groups like the "Pepper Busters"
of Brevard and Hillsborough counties are
examples of successful volunteer programs.
Concerned residents are trained in the latest
techniques for controlling Brazilian pepper on
public lands and urban areas.

6. Continue investigations into developing sound
management options.

7. Use the support and resources of organizations
such as the Exotic Pest Plant Council to organize
a network of professionals to lobby the State
Legislature and U.S. Congress to provide financial
support and enact laws encouraging the
management of Brazilian pepper and other
exotic pest-plants.

8. Cooperate with agencies and organizations such
as Florida's water management districts, the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection,
the Cooperative Extension Service, and the Native
Plant Society in the production and dissemination
of information intended to educate the public
about the problems associated with the
introduction of nuisance exotic plants such as
Brazilian pepper.

Brazilian pepper thrives on disturbed soils created by natural disruptions such as hurricanes.


S Biology of Brazilian Pepper
Vernacular Names
SE':izilian pepper (tree), Christmas berry (tree),
Florida holly (USA); Copal (Cuba); Pimienta de
Brasil (Puerto Rico); NANI-0-HILO (Hawaii); Aroeira
(Brazil); Chichita (Argentina); Faux poivrier or False
pepper (French Riviera).

Taxonomy & Classification
Brazilian pepper belongs to the Anacardiaceae,
the Cashew or Sumac family, which comprises
approximately 600 species in 70 genera (actual
numbers of taxa vary among authors, with genera
ranging from 60 to 80, and species from 600 to 850).
Members of this family are found primarily in tropical
and subtropical regions of the world, but are also
represented in the floras of the Mediterranean, and
temperate Eurasia and North America. Three genera
are indigenous to southeastern United States: Rhus
(including Toxicodendron; Sumac, Poison ivy),
Metopium (Poison wood), and Cotinus (Smoke tree)
(Brizicky, 1962). A number of additional genera have
been introduced and are cultivated for their edible
fruits or seeds (Mangifera, Mango; Pistacia, Pistachio;
Spondias, Hog plum), or ornamental qualities
(Schinus, Pepper tree). In Florida, the family is
represented by one to several species in each of the
aforesaid genera, except Cotinus.
Members of the Anacardiaceae are readily
characterized by the presence of resin (or sometimes
latex) ducts, pinnately compound or trifoliolate
leaves, typically 5-merous flowers with a nectary
disc, and drupaceous fruits. The resin is often toxic
and allergenic. In addition to their economic value as
fruit and nut trees, and ornamentals, the family is
recognized as a source of dyes, tannins, resins, oils
and lacquers, waxes and varnishes, and commercial
timber (Brizicky, 1962; Tomlinson, 1980). It is
classified under the large plant order Sapindales,
together with the Rutaceae (Citrus family), Meliaceae
(Mahogany family), Aceraceae (Maple family),
Sapindaceae (Soapberry family), and others.
Brazilian pepperjoins approximately 29 other
species in the genus Schinus L., a name given by
the famous Swedish naturalist, Carolus Linnaeus,
when he first established the genus in 1753. The
name Schinus is derived from the word 'schinus',
the Latin name for the Mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus
L.), also of the same family, which this genus
resembles in its resinousjuice (Correll & Correll,
1982). In a taxonomic revision of the genus, Barkley
(1944) divided Schinus into two groups subgeneraa)

based on leaf and inflorescence characteristics.
Brazilian pepper (together with about five other
species, including S. molle L., California pepper)
belongs to Subgenus Euschinus which is character-
ized by unarmed shrubs and trees having mostly
pinnately compound leaves and large paniculate
inflorescences. The remaining species are placed in
Subgenus Duvaua, all of which possess simple
leaves and mostly pseudoracemose inflorescences;
the majority have armed branches.
Brazilian pepper, Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi,
was first described in 1820 by the Italian, Giuseppe
Raddi (1770-1829). The name terebinthifolius is
derived from the Latin words 'terebinthus', the Latin
name for the Terebinth tree (Pistacia terebinthus L.),
and foliumm', leaf, in reference to the resinous leaves
of this species, like those of Terebinth. Barkley
(1944) recognized five varieties of S. terebinthi-
folius, three of which were known to occur (as
introductions) in the United States prior to his
publication and cited by him, namely var. tere-
binthifolius (reported from Florida and California),
var. acutifolius Engl. (Michigan, Missouri, and
California), and var. raddianus Engl. (Florida). The
remaining two varieties, var. pohlianus Engl. and
var. rhoifolius (Mart.) Engl., were not reported to
occur here. Campbell et. al. (1980) comments on
the possibility of hybridization occurring among the
varieties established in Florida. (See following
section on "Vegetative & Reproductive Morphology"
for characterization of varieties)
Schinus terebinthifolius has been referred to
by other names (synonyms) in the past, including
S. mucronulata Mart. (in reference to the pointed leaf
tip or mucro) and S. antiarthriticus Mart. (in reference
to the supposed anti-arthritic action of its resin).

Vegetative & Reproductive Morphology
Habit Brazilian pepper is an evergreen shrub or
small tree, 3-7 meters tall or more. Its trunk is often
multiple-stemmed. Multiple-stemmed trees originate
in one of two ways: from sprouting due to damaged
trunks and crowns, and from germination of several
fruits at the same point, e.g., from seeds dispersed in
animal scat. When growing in open areas, the
crowns of these trees are broad and rounded and
comprise numerous, long, arching, leafy branches
which often reach the ground. Ewel et. al. (1982)
noted that these branches do not easily self-prune
and "remain attached to the tree, forming an impene-
trable tangle that surrounds the tree to ground level".
The crowns of trees growing in dense, closed stands,
on the other hand, differ in having the foliage con-
centrated at the top of the canopy, leaving the lower
(understory) branches relatively leafless.


Figure 1 Schinus terebinthifolius, shoot morphology. a. Habit with fruit; b. habit with flower; c. fruiting
branch; d. node with 2 serial axillary buds. (Tomlinson, 1980)

SVegetative Morphology The odd-pinnate
(compound) leaves are alternately arranged
i on branches and range from 8 to 17 cm in
length (Fig. 1a). Each leaf is composed of
u ually 4 or 6 (or sometimes more) lateral leaflets,
S.:l.:inged in pairs along a narrowly winged leaf axis
(rachis), and a single, terminal leaflet. The short peti-
ole (to 3 cm long) is unwinged, and each leaflet is
attached to the rachis by a very small stalk (subsessile).
The leaf petioles and racheae (as well as the expand-
ing leaf blades and shoot apices) are often tinged red.
The leaflets are oblong-elliptic to obovate in shape, to
10 cm long by 4.5 cm wide, with blunt or rounded
to pointed tips, tapering, sometimes asymmetric,
bases, and toothed to subentire margins (Fig. 2a). The
leaflet blades are thinly leathery, and glossy, dark
green above and dull, pale green below. Each blade
is conspicuously veined above (less conspicuous
below), with 10-12 lateral nerves on each side of the
midrib. When crushed, the leaves produce a pungent
aroma that has been variously described, from
"peppery" to "turpentine-like". In the axils of the
leaves are found one or two buds. If occurring singly,
the bud will remain dormant. If occurring in pairs,
i.e., serial buds (Fig. 1d), the uppermost bud has
the potential to develop into a flowering shoot
(Tomlinson, 1980). The description above applies to
typical Brazilian pepper, var. terebinthifolius. There
are a number of vegetative differences between it and
the other four recognized varieties, mainly in leaf
length, number of leaflets, and leaflet shape and
margins. These differences are noted below (after
Barkley, 1944; Campbell et. al., 1980):
* var. acutifolius leaves 7-22 cm long; leaflets
7-15, lanceolate in shape, margins obscurely
toothed to smooth (entire), tips pointed, sessile;
petiole to 4 cm long.
* var. pohlianus leaves 7-19 cm long; leaflets
5-17, oval to obovate in shape; petiole to 4 cm
long; rachis broadly winged; stems and leaves
* var. raddianus leaves 7-16 cm long; leaflets 3-9,
obovate in shape, terminal leaflet larger than later-
als, margins toothed to nearly entire, tips rounded.
* var. rhoifolius leaves 5-17 cm long; leaflets 3-7,
oval to obovate in shape, terminal leaflet larger
than laterals, margins mostly entire, tips rounded.
Campbell et. al. (1980) noted that Brazilian
pepper is extremely variable in Brazil (and to a lesser
degree in Florida), and that many exceptions to the
general morphological descriptions can be expected.
Due to difficulty in separating the varieties, e.g.,
morphological characters often overlap in the field,
southern Florida populations have not been adequate-
ly characterized or classified to the varietal level.



'I 7-

'V F-~ ~
~l:~~CV I

Figure 2 Schinus terebinthifolius, leaf and flowers, a. Leaf
outline; toothed leaflet above; b-f. male flower, b. from the
side, c. from above, early stage, d. from above, late stage,
e. in longitudinal section, f. floral diagram; g-i. female flower,
g. from the side, h. from above, i. in longitudinal section;
j. floral diagram. (Tomlinson, 1980)

Reproductive Morphology Brazilian pepper is large-
ly a dioecious plant which means that the flowers are
all unisexual, i.e., either male staminatee) or female
pistillatee), and the sexes are physically separated,
i.e., occur on male and female trees. Ewel et. al.
(1982), however, observed that a small number of
trees in a population produce bisexual ("complete")
flowers or are monoecious, i.e., unisexual flowers
occur on the same individual. The flowers are pro-
duced in showy, branched inflorescences panicless),
2-11 cm long, which arise from the axils of leaves
near the ends of stems (Fig. 1b). In addition to
flowers, the inflorescences also bear triangular to
lanceolate, leaf-like bracts with ciliate margins. Both
male and female flowers (Fig. 2bj) occur on stalks
(pedicels) 1 mm long and essentially have the same
structure: 5 small, green, triangular sepals with ciliate
margins; 5 small, white, glabrous, ovate petals; 10
stamens concentrically arranged in 2 series of 5, the
outer series being longer; a lobed disc at the base of
the stamens; and a single-chambered (unilocular)
ovary with 3 short styles. However, in male flowers,

the ovary (pistillode) is non-functional, and
Sin female flowers, the stamens (staminodes)
are sterile. On female trees, flowering is
SIfollowed by the production of bright red, fleshy,
-spherical drupes ("berries"), each 5-6 mm in
Diameter and containing a single seed (Fig. 1c).
The description above applies to typical Brazilian
pepper, var. terebinthifolius. There are a number of
morphological differences between it and the other
four recognized varieties, mainly in inflorescence and
pedicel lengths, sepal, petal and fruit characters, and
hairiness (pubescence). These differences are noted
below (after Barkley, 1944):
* var. acutifolius inflorescences 3-15 cm long,
sparsely hairy, bracts ciliate; pedicels 1.5-2 mm
long; sepals triangular-ovate, margins ciliate; petals
lanceolate, mostly glabrous; fruits pink, 5 mm in
* var. pohlianus inflorescences 2-8 cm long,
soft-hairy, bracts triangular; sepals triangular-
ovate; petals lanceolate.
* var. raddianus inflorescence bracts triangular,
sparsely glandular; sepals triangular- ovate; petals
* var. rhoifolius inflorescences 1-9 cm long, bracts
triangular; pedicels 1 mm long; sepals triangular-
ovate; petals lanceolate to narrowly ovate.

Reproductive Biology, Phenology,
and Growth
Although occurring sporadically throughout the
year, flowering and fruiting phenomena in Brazilian
pepper shows distinct periodicity. The main
flowering period, September to October, is marked
by the production of copious flowers from axillary
inflorescences developing at the ends of leafy
branches. A second flowering period (March-May)
occurs in less than 10% of the population (Ewel
et. al., 1982). Observations by Ewel et. al. (1982)
reveal that Brazilian pepper is pollinated by diurnal
insects, including a number of dipterans (especially
a syrphid fly, Palpada vinetorum), hymenopterans,
and lepidopterans. Male and female flowers supply
nectar (secreted by the floral disc) and/or pollen to
the foraging insects. Pollen availability and nectar
secretion in Brazilian pepper flowers is apparently
timed to maximize pollination success, although
Ewel et. al. (1982) suggested this is unnecessary in
southern Florida due to the diversity of local insect
pollinators (many of which are considered to be
nectar and pollen "thieves") and good fruit set.
Plants appear to be out-crossers, although the
rare occurrence of fruits (under experimental
conditions) developing from unisexual flowers
has not been adequately explained.

Fruit production occurs during the winter
(November to February), at which time the branches
of female trees are heavily laden with red fruits while
male trees remain barren. Ewel et. al. (1982)
observed that ripe fruits are retained on a tree for up
to 8 months, and all will be dispersed before the next
flowering season. The attractive fruits are readily
eaten and transported by birds and mammals, with
water and gravity serving as less important dispersal
agents. Seed dispersal by native and exotic birds,
e.g., catbird, mockingbird, American robin,
red-whiskered bulbul, accounts for the presence of
Brazilian pepper in almost every terrestrial plant
habitat in southern Florida (Austin, 1978; Ewel et. al.,
1982; Ewel, 1986). Robins, when they are present,
are believed to consume and transport more Schinus
seed than all other dispersal agents combined.
Raccoons and possibly possums are known to ingest
the fruits, their stool providing additional nutrients for
seed germination and seedling growth (Ewel et. al.,
1982). The fact that very little else is fruiting during
the winter months when Schinus seeds are dispersed

Male and Female flowers supply nectar (secreted by the floral
disk) and/or pollen to foraging insects.

has been suggested as a possible explana-
Stion for the success of Brazilian pepper in
S southern Florida (Ewel 1986).
Greenhouse experiments carried out by Ewel
t al. (1982) on Brazilian pepper indicate a
germination rate of 20-60% (compared to 1-30%
in the field), with most germination occurring within
the first 20 days. The germination period ranges from
November to April (and sometimes to as late as July!),
with the highest activity occurring during January-
February. Seeds are generally not viable after 5
months following dispersal. However, Ewel (1979)
reported seed germination in late fall, under certain
conditions; seeds apparently retain their viability
during the wet season floods and germinate when
water levels drop late in the year.
Water availability, especially rapid changes in
water levels, determines to a great extent seedling
success: seedlings are especially susceptible at the
end of the dry season (May-June), which corresponds
to the period of greatest germination activity, and
during the wet season (July-September), where
prolonged submergence may result in increased
seedling mortality (Ewel et. al., 1982). Its lack of
success in southern California has, in fact, been
attributed to the short period of sufficient soil
moisture needed for germination and root establish-
ment (Nilsen and Muller, 1980). Other density-
dependent and density-independent factors may
also influence patterns of success and mortality in
Brazilian pepper seedlings in southern Florida.
Ewel et. al. (1982) discussed seedling survivor-
ship in some detail and concluded that the tenacity
and growth plasticity of Brazilian pepper seedlings
is unusual and makes this species especially
difficult to manage. Seedlings grow very slowly
and can survive under the dense shade of mature
stands, while exhibiting vigorous growth when
the canopy is opened after a disturbance. In
exposed, open areas, such as young successional
communities, their rates of growth are among the
highest, i.e., 0.3-0.5 m per year.
Vegetative growth in Brazilian pepper
undergoes a cycle of dormancy in winter (October-
December), when flowering occurs, followed by
shoot renewal and extension growth (evidenced by
the production of long, drooping branches) more or
less continuously throughout the rest of the year
(Tomlinson, 1980; Ewel et. al., 1982). While there
is no general relationship between vegetative
growth and reproductive development, i.e., inflo-
rescence initiation and growth, branches can termi-
nate all subsequent vegetative growth (in other
words, become determinate) if flowering is prolific
(Tomlinson 1980).

Like many hardwood species, Brazilian pepper
has the capability of resprouting from above-ground
stems and root crowns, under certain conditions,
e.g., cutting to a stump, bark girdling, fire (if it girdles
a stem), herbicide application (Woodall, 1979).
Resprouting is often profuse and the growth rates
of the sprouts, which originate from dormant and
adventitious buds, are very high. Brazilian pepper's
generally shallow root system (because of high water
tables) also favors the production of underground
root suckers. Root suckers form without evidence of
damage to a tree or its root system and can develop
into another individual. The clumping of Schinus
often seen during the early stages of invasion
can be explained by this suckering mechanism
(Woodall, 1979).
Ewel (1979) summarized the many characteristics
of Brazilian pepper which make it the successful
weedy species that it is, including : (1) fast growth,
(2) prolific seed production, (3) near continuous
shoot extension and leaf renewal, (4) vigorous
resprouting, and (5) tolerance of a wide range of
growing conditions (see next section). It is unique
among weed species, however, in possessing a
number of traits more typical of mature ecosystem
species, including: (1) synchronous flowering and
fruiting within a short time period, (2) male and
female flowers produced on separate individuals,
i.e., dioecious, (3) pollination by insects, (4) large,
animal-dispersed seeds, (5) large cotyledons
(important for seedling success), and (6) shade
tolerant seedlings.

Chemistry and Toxicity
Phytochemical studies carried out during the
1960-70's revealed the presence of a number of
diverse chemical compounds, including triterpene
alcohols, ketones, acids, monoterpenes, and
sesquiterpenes, in the bark, leaves and fruits of
Brazilian pepper (Lloyd et. al., 1977; Morton,
1978). The high concentration of volatile (and aro-
matic) monoterpenes has been suggested to be a
probable cause of the respiratory problems associ-
ated with crushed fruits. The fact that widespread
respiratory ailments have occurred when the tree is
in bloom suggests that these same volatile com-
pounds may also be produced by the flowers (Lloyd
et. al., 1977). Morton (1969, 1978) reports that per-
sons sitting or playing beneath Brazilian pepper
trees exhibited flu-like symptoms, and sneezing,
sinus congestion, chest pains and acute headache
were among the possible inhalant effects. It is of
interest to note that the pollen from its flowers
appears not to be a significant source of irritation
or allergies, as it is sticky and not easily carried by
wind (Morton, 1978).

Campello & Marsaioli (1974) noted in a
paper on triterpenes that the ingested fruits
have a "paralyzing effect" on birds. The
narcotic and toxic effects on birds and
.[her wildlife has also been noted by others, e.g.,
E:-reau of Aquatic Plant Management. Workman
(1979) refers to the "hypnotic action" of fruit
extracts, containing the triterpenes terebinthone and
schinol, on chicks and mice. The AMA Handbook of
Poisonous and Injurious Plants (Lampe & McCann,
1985) reports that the tripterpenes found in the fruits
can result in irritation of the throat, gastroenteritis,
diarrhea, and vomiting in man.
Like most other members of the Anacardiaceae,
Brazilian pepper contains active alkenyl phenols,
e.g., urushiol, cardol, which can cause contact
dermatitis and inflammation in sensitive individuals
(Lampe & Fagerstrom, 1968; Tomlinson, 1980).
Contact with the "sap" from a cut or bruised tree can
result in rash, lesions, oozing sores, severe itching,
reddening and swelling (especially of the eyes), and
welts (Morton, 1978). Grazing animals, such as hors-
es and cattle, are also susceptible to its toxic effects,
and ingestion of leaves and/or fruits has been known
to be fatal.
Of taxonomic interest is the observation that the
chemistry of Brazilian pepper, specifically certain
compounds extracted from the leaves and bark, is
more similar to species of the related genus Pistacia
than it is to other members of its own genus Schinus
(Campello & Marsaioli, 1975).

Economic Uses
Before Brazilian pepper
attained its present status
(in southern Florida) as a
serious pest plant, it was
widely planted along city
streets and in home
gardens because of its
ornamental qualities and
for shade (Morton, 1969).
Its decorative fruiting
branches were particularly
valued at Christmas, and
the clusters of fruits were
used to make leis and
adorn hats (Morton, 1978).
It has been successfully
grown indoors: Graf (1982)
provides information on its
cultivation requirements
("a large container and
plentiful watering") and
propagation ("from cuttings
and seeds").

As its vernacular name suggests, the dried fruits of
Brazilian pepper are used as a spice and sold in the
United States as "pink peppercorn". With regard to
this, Bell & Taylor (1982) noted that "due to its toxic
properties, its use in this way is inappropriate and
potentially dangerous." In areas of South America
where it occurs naturally, the plant is considered
tonic and astringent, and the stems are the source of
a resin called Balsamo de Misiones (Uphof, 1968). In
Brazil, the plant is considered medicinal (Campbell
et al., 1980; Morton, 1978) and used in remedies for
ulcers, respiratory problems, wounds, rheumatism,
gout, tumors, diarrhea, skin ailments, and arthritis.
Brazilians also value the bark for tanning where it is
sold in fishing equipment shops and used to preserve
fishing lines and nets (Mors & Rizzini, 1966; Morton,
1978). Campbell et. al. (1980) reports that Brazilian
children play with the leaves by igniting them and
watching them "pop and sparkle." Morton (1978)
described several products made from Brazilian
pepper: toothpicks from its twigs, posts, stakes and
construction materials from its wood, and honey
from its copious nectar. It is recognized as an
important nectar and pollen source by the bee
industry in Hawai'i (Yoshioka and Markin, 1991).
A number of economic uses are reported for other
members of the genus as well. The fruits of California
pepper, or Peruvian mastic, Schinus molle L., said to
contain an essential oil, are pulverized and used to
make refreshing drinks known as "horchatas" or
"atoles," while gum from the trunk is reportedly used
in varnishes and medicines, and for chewing (Uphof,

Economic uses for Brazilian pepper include honey and gourmet "pink peppercorns."


S1968; Williams, 1981). Altschul (1973)
reports that this species is used in the
; treatment of rheumatism in Mexico. In
Peru, it is employed in the preparation of
.: mildly alcoholic drink (Rehm & Espig, 1991).
SLike Brazilian pepper, its dried fruits, exported
from Peru and Ecuador to the United States, are
used like pepper (or even to adulterate it!), and the
essential oils from its leaves and fruits are used as
an aromatic (Rehm & Epsig, 1991). The bark is used
for tanning animal skins (Graf, 1982), and when
powdered, it serves as a purgative for domestic
animals (Uphof, 1968). A wine is reportedly made
from small twigs (Hedrick, 1972). Mabberley (1987)
notes its use as a fertility control agent in Uruguay.
Another species, S. polygamus (Cav.) Cabrera
(= S. dependens Orteg.), is used in Chile to treat
rheumatism, and a red wine is prepared from its
'berries'. The fruits of S. latifolius (Gillies) Engl. are
used by Chilean indians to make an intoxicating
liquor (Uphof, 1968; Hedrick, 1972).

Distribution, Ecology and
Economic Impact
Distribution and Ecology
The genus Schinus occurs naturally in South
America, with one species (S. molle L.) ranging as far
north as Mexico. Brazilian pepper is indigenous to
subtropical Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, and has
been introduced to various subtropical regions of the
world including other parts of South America, Central
America, the Bahama Islands, the Caribbean Islands,
the United States, Mediterranean Europe, northern
and South Africa, China, southern and southeastern
Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands (Morton, 1978;
Campbell et. al., 1980).
In its natural range, it is reported to occur as
scattered individuals in a variety of habitats, from sea
level to over 700 m elevation (Ewel et. al., 1982). It
never dominates the landscape as it does in southern
Florida (Campbell et. al., 1980; Ewel, 1986), where it
grows on a broad range of moist to mesic sites,
sometimes forming nearly monotypic stands,
including tropical hardwood hammocks, bay heads,
pine rocklands, sawgrass marshes, Muhlenbergia
prairies, and the salt marsh-mangrove transition zone.
In this region, it thrives on disturbed soils created by
natural disruptions, e.g., hurricanes, and is especially
invasive in areas affected by human activities,
particularly the newly created habitats resulting from
agriculture and drainage, e.g. abandoned farmlands,
roadsides, canal banks (Ewel, 1986).
Brazilian pepper does not become established in
deeper wetland communities and rarely grows on

sites inundated longer than three to six months. In
Everglades National Park, for example, it is absent
from marshes and prairies with hydroperiods
exceeding six months as well as from tree islands
with closed canopies (LaRosa et. al., 1992).
Preliminary investigations on Schinus invasibility
(employing seed introduction and seedling transplant
experiments) in both native (undisturbed) and succes-
sional (disturbed) plant communities in southern
Florida were carried out by Ewel et. al. (1982). Young
successional communities were found to be more
susceptible to invasion than older ones, and all
successional communities were more susceptible
than undisturbed, native communities. Of the three
native "ecosystems" investigated, the pinelands
were more susceptible to Schinus seed germination,
followed by wet prairies ("glades") and hammocks.
Successful invasion appears to be a function of both
seed access to an area and the ability of introduced
seeds to germinate and seedlings to survive (Ewel et.
al., 1982).
Concern over the occurrence of Schinus in salt-
tolerant plant communities, e.g., mangrove forest, in
southern Florida, especially in Everglades National
Park, led Mytinger and Williamson (1987) to investi-
gate the tolerance of Schinus to saline conditions.
Seed germination and transplanted seedlings did not
succeed at salinities of 5 ppt or greater, which would
largely exclude it from becoming established in
mangrove forest. Schinus invasion of saline
communities can occur, however, if salinity declines
due to changes in drainage patterns resulting from
natural phenomena or human activities.
The ability of Brazilian pepper to invade disturbed,
successional habitats in particular, e.g., abandoned
agricultural fields formerly rock-plowed, is due to the
enhanced conditions created by an altered substrate,
i.e., the soil is deeper, better drained, better aerated,
and possibly more nutrient-rich (Ewel et. al., 1982).
This promotes the growth of mycorrhizal fungi in
association with Schinus, allowing them to colonize
areas that they would otherwise be unable to grow in.
The stages of secondary plant succession in
abandoned, rock-plowed farmlands, leading to nearly
pure stands of Brazilian pepper, have been well-
documented in studies carried out in the Hole-in-the-
Donut area of Everglades National Park utilizing
Schinus tree and stem inventories, seedling density
data, and forest understory characteristics (Loope and
Dunevitz, 1981a; Ewel et. al., 1982; Krauss, 1987).
The general course for secondary succession (and
Schinus invasion) on these rock-plowed farmlands is
summarized in Doren and Whiteaker (1990): the
process progresses (on sites < 10 years old) from low

density and reproduction in Schinus in a
matrix of grasses and herbs, through (on
sites 10-20 years old) a stage of rapid
reproduction and increased density, to (on
tir-s > 20 years old) dense stands of nearly pure
S Sclinus that are "self-maintaining." The conclusion
is that monotypic Brazilian pepper forests represent
the final stage in secondary plant succession on
abandoned farmlands. The use of repeated fires as
a management tool for controlling successional
growth Schinus in these areas has been investigated
by Doren et. al. 1991. Although repeated burnings
may slow down the invasion rate, it does not exclude
its establishment; Schinus invasion progresses with or
without the occurrence of fire.
Brazilian pepper forest structure in the Hole-in-
the-Donut region of Everglades National Park was
documented by Ewel et. al. (1982) and revealed
stands containing from 200 to more than 2500
Schinus trees per hectare. The understory of even the
densest stands contains ferns and shrubs, such as the
exotic Ardisia elliptica. A number of native and
exotic trees (Myrsine floridana, Persea borbonia, Ilex
cassine, Nectandra coriacea, Psidium guajava) are
also known to successfully invade, and establish
small populations of individuals within, Schinus
stands. Gogue et. al. (1974) have suggested that
Brazilian pepper has the ability to inhibit the growth
of competing vegetation through the production of
allelopathic substances.
Brazilian pepper stands provide relatively poor
wildlife habitat. In a study on the utilization of a
mature Brazilian pepper stand by the native avifauna,
Curnutt (1989) found that avian species diversity and
total population density declined when compared to
native pinelands and forest-edge habitats. Such
results, expected when a species-rich habitat is
replaced by one which is biologically less diverse,
stress the need to protect native habitats from exotic
pest plant encroachment.
A few native amphibian and reptile species were
collected (though rarely) in Brazilian pepper forest
habitats in the Long Key-Paradise Key region of the
Everglades National Park, whereas two nonindige-
nous species, Cuban tree frogs (Osteopilus septentri-
onallis) and brown anole lizards (Anolis sagrei), were
most common (Dalrymple, 1988). Dalrymple (1988)
believes that most of the herptofauna in Brazilian
pepper forests in this area was responding to basic
microhabitat requirements and not the species com-
position of the vegetation. The herptofauna of
Brazilian pepper forests is similar in species numbers
and foraging guilds to those of southern Florida's
hammock communities, probably because of the
closed canopy conditions. and soil development

found in both (G. Dalrymple, pers. comm). In
Everglades National Park, anecdotal evidence
suggests Brazilian pepper spread is threatening the
nesting habitat of the gopher tortoise (Gopherus
polyphemus), a species threatened in Florida.
Of interest is the experimental evidence that the
native wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) is allelopathic and
inhibitory to Brazilian pepper germination and
seedling establishment (Dunevitz and Ewel, 1981). In
previously farmed pinelands where wax myrtle has
become dominant, Brazilian pepper has been
observed to have slower growth rates and poorly
developed seedlings. Their reduced vigor under these
conditions suggests a possible use of wax myrtle in
Brazilian pepper management practices (Dunevitz
and Ewel, 1981).

Economic Impact
Sanford (1987) lists Brazilian pepper as one of
Florida's best nectar-producing plants and comment-
ed that "the honey has a distinct peppery taste and is
not considered by many to be of table grade, but is
accepted well locally." It was estimated in 1989 that
beekeepers sold from 6 to 8 million pounds of honey
from Brazilian pepper per year in Florida (Schmitz,
1989). In addition, Brazilian pepper is considered to
be important in bee maintenance during the winter
months (Schmitz, 1989). However, the African
honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata), expected to
arrive in Florida during the 1990s, may have a
much greater impact on the state's bee industry
(Office of Technology Assessment, 1993) than
Brazilian pepper control efforts.
Because Brazilian pepper grows low to the ground
and contains many crooked branches, it precludes
economical harvesting by any conventional means
for wood utilization (Morton, 1978). Morton (1978)
also reports the strength characteristics would rank
Brazilian pepper with the poorest of native hard-
woods, and the extractive could pose a serious
processing problem. The possibility of using Brazilian
pepper for pulpwood has been tentatively explored.
Morton (1978) found the species cannot be debarked
using conventional equipment. However, the pulp
yield is comparable to that from other hardwood
pulps. It has been suggested it could be used for
many paper grades such as printing, tissue paper and
corrugating board.
In Brazil, the crushed, dried leaves of Brazilian
pepper are applied as an antiseptic on skin ulcers;
are eaten to relieve bronchitis and other respiratory
ailments; and are considered to be a remedy for gout,
muscular agony, pain of arthritis, diarrhea, intestinal
weakness, and inertia of human reproductive organs
(Morton, 1978). In Florida, it is doubtful that many

people use Brazilian pepper for medicinal
purposes. Anecdotal evidence suggests
Brazilian pepper can cause human contact
dermatitis, allergies, and respiratory prob-
ei-rms (Office of Technology Assessment, 1993).
Although once extensively sold as a landscape
ornamental (one Central Florida nursery, Royal Palm
Nurseries, Onceco, in 1937 advertised it as "one of
our most worthwhile plants for general landscape pur-
poses, as it makes a fine subject for mass planting and
succeeds well along the beach, standing quite a lot of
salt spray") from the 1920s through the 1960s, it was
banned for commercial use in 1990. The banning of
Brazilian pepper in 1990 as a landscape ornamental
had no economic impact on the wholesale and retail
industry (Schmitz, 1989) because the plant was no
longer considered to have ornamental value.
Brazilian pepper may ultimately negatively impact
Florida's tourist industry. Many visitors come to
Florida to enjoy Florida's unique landscape and pay
millions of dollars each year to gain admission to
Everglades National Park and other preserved natural
habitats (Schmitz, 1989). Any minimization of the
spread of Brazilian peppers in these areas would
maintain the interests of such visitors and the extent
of their expenditures, including park or preserve
admission, purchases of food, gasoline, and supplies
and all the related permit fees and taxes. For
example, tourist development taxes in Broward,
Dade, Lee, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties were
worth nearly $23 million in 1987 (Schmitz, 1989).

Management Techniques
Biological Control
Classical biological control involves moving host-
specific natural enemies from the native range of the
weed to its introduced range. The goal is to reduce
weed abundance to a level that can be tolerated.
Biological control does not eradicate weeds. It simply
restores a natural balance between the weed and its
enemies. Biological control can be self-regulating
since the introduced natural enemies often become
part of the ecosystem.
Biological control is not a quick fix. The period
of time between initiation of a weed biocontrol
program and when the first natural enemy is released
is measured in years. Release must be approved by
both state and federal agencies. Releases require
propagation of large numbers and distribution in the
field followed by monitoring to determine whether
establishment has occurred and how effective the
natural enemies are.
In Florida there are many insects associated with
Brazilian pepper (Cassani 1986, Cassani, et al.

1989), but only one, the phytophagous seed wasp
(Megastigmus transvaalensis) was abundant enough
to cause significant seed reduction (Habeck et al
1989). Infestation rates of seeds are usually less
than 5 percent, but can be as high as 30 percent in
some localities.
In 1986, the Department of Entomology and
Nematology of the Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences (IFAS) initiated a biological control agree-
ment with the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. This
included short duration surveys in southern Brazil to
determine the range of Brazilian pepper's natural
enemies and to determine the insect fauna on the
plant in Florida. To date, more than 200 insect
species have been found associated with Brazilian
pepper in Brazil (Bennett and Habeck 1991 and
Bennett et al 1990). Several of these insects were
selected as potential biological control candidates for
further study. Permission was obtained to bring some
of them into quarantine in Florida for host specificity
and biological studies.
The two insects that have received the most
attention are the Brazilian peppertree sawfly
(Heteroperryia hubrichi) Hustache (Pergidae:
Hymenoptera); a defoliator, and Brazilian peppertree
thrips (Liothrips ichini) Hood (Phlaeothripidae:
Thysanoptera). The thrips was studied by Garcia
(1977) who considered it likely to be host-specific to
Brazilian pepper since he never found it on any other
plant species. This insect is usually found as adults on
newly unfolding and as nymphs on young stems.
They damage the plant with their rasping-sucking
mouthparts and frequently kill the new shoot. They
also attack flowers causing them to abort. This
restricts the vigor and growth rate of young plants
and if established in Florida could remove the com-
petitive advantage that Brazilian pepper currently
holds over the native Florida vegetation.
In Brazil the larvae of the thrips are parasitized
by a small wasp that limits its impact on Brazilian
pepper. This wasp would be eliminated during the
standard quarantine procedures required to clear
biological control agents for field release. In the
absence of this wasp, the thrips should have a more
devastating impact on the growth rate of Brazilian
pepper. The Brazilian peppertree sawfly is a primitive
wasp that does not sting. Caterpillar-like larvae feed
in groups, defoliating the plant. The immature stages
(Larvae) are almost an inch long when mature. While
this insect is also believed to be host-specific, it is
proving difficult to rear in quarantine.
Other insects of interest found during preliminary
studies include a bruchid beetle (Lithraeus
atronotatus) whose larvae feed in and destroy fruit,
a stem-tip gall maker (Crasimorpha infuscata), a

flower feeding casebearer (Coleophora sp.)
and unidentified flower-infesting gall
midge, several leaf tiers and several wee-
vils. The seed bruchid, one leaf tier and
nerh stem tip gall maker were introduced into
H.n.vaii to control Brazilian pepper but only the
first two became established in the field. The leaf
tier has had no appreciable impact on Brazilian
pepper whereas the infestation rate of seeds by the
bruchid increased to about 10 percent. It later
dropped to a negligible level following the appear-
ance of the phytophagous wasp (M. transvaalensis)
that now infests 10 15 percent of the seeds
(Yoshioka and Markin 1991).
The goal of this biological control program is to
select and introduce natural enemies that will restrict
seed production and reduce the vigor and growth rate
of seedlings and young plants.

Mechanical Control
Mechanical control of Brazilian pepper is
accomplished through the use of heavy equipment
such as bulldozers, front end loaders, root rakes
and other specialized equipment. The use of heavy
equipment is sometimes not suitable in natural
areas. Once undisturbed soils have been unsettled,
they are succeptable to invasion by invasive exotic
pest-plants. Mechanical control is accepted along
ditch banks, utility rights-of-way and other disturbed
areas. As followup, a herbicide application is
highly recommended to prevent regrowth from the
remaining stumps. Stumps that fail to be chemically
treated will resprout and continue to infest natural
areas and wetlands.
A chainsaw may be used for the removal of single
trees or small clumps of trees. Once the vegetation
has been cut and treated the remaining foliage may
be burnt, left to decay or taken to a local landfill for
proper disposal. It is not recommended to mulch
Brazilian pepper trees for use in landscapes unless
the tree is male or not in seed. Local foresters can
provide information on burning permits and other
local laws. Brazilian pepper belongs to the
Anacardiaceae family; therefore the sap and smoke
from the burning may irritate or cause an allergic
reaction to sensitive individuals.
As with any control method, followup is impor-
tant. Treatment areas must be checked periodically
for new infestations or recurring growth from
remaining stumps.

Physical Control
Plants can be stressed, or even killed, by the
physical environment. Temperature and salinity
variations, water level fluctuations, and the presence

Although fire may affect Brazilian pepper seeds, seedlings and
saplings, it provides little control for mature trees.

or absence of fire are examples of physical condi-
tions that can dictate vegetation patterns. Land
managers use many of these natural limiting factors
to manipulate the environment for vegetation
management. More often than not, however, nature
controls these physical changes and the land manager
is forced to take a side seat and observe the changes.
Although fire may effect Brazilian pepper seeds,
seedlings, and saplings, it provides little control for
mature trees. Research conducted by Nielson and
Muller (1980) in southern California has shown that
Brazilian pepper seeds are killed by fire. Brazilian
pepper trees less than one meter in height which
are found in limestone rockland pine forests in
southern Florida have an increased mortality rate
when subjected to five year fire intervals (Loope
and Dunevitz, 1981). Everglades National Park has
maintained rockland pine forested areas largely
free of Brazilian pepper by maintaining fire
management programs that kill seedlings before
reaching fire-resistant heights (David Jones, Pers.
comm.). Brazilian pepper found in other habitat
types may persist with a similar fire regime due to
water levels and plant growth rates. Research and
personal observation have proven that fire is not an
effective control method for mature Brazilian stands.

S Brazilian pepper occurs naturally in sub-
tropical South America and has been intro-
i duced to various regions of the world with
similar climates. As with many tropical and
Sut:-tropical plant species, Brazilian pepper is
e.:luded from more temperate regions by temper-
ature. It is unknown if any attempts have been made
to control Brazilian pepper in situ by lowering tem-
perature. Potential non-target damage and logistical
implications of such a task are obvious.
The salt tolerance of Brazilian pepper is relatively
low. Mytinger and Williamson (1987) investigated the
tolerance of Brazilian pepper to saline conditions and
found that seed germination and transplanted
seedlings failed at salinities of five ppt or greater. This
intolerance is supported by the stressed phenotype
found in salt terns, and the relative exclusion of
Brazilian pepper from intact, undisturbed mangrove
forests. It is apparent in South Florida that many
natural and manmade hydrological alterations, such
as ditching, impoundments, or flooding, have the
ability to change salinities enough to allow Brazilian
pepper to invade. The use of salt or a saline solution
to control Brazilian pepper again raises the questions
of logistics and potential non-target damage.
Recent evidence has shown that flooding Brazilian
pepper may stress, or in some cases, kill mature trees
and seedlings. Brazilian pepper is absent from
marshes and prairies with hydroperiods exceeding six
months at Everglades National Park (LaRosa et. al.,
1992). Experimental results from a project on Sanibel
Island (See Sanibel Island case study) illustrate the
effects of flooding.

Herbicidal Control
Brazilian Pepper, like other woody plant species,
can be controlled with herbicides applied in a variety
of ways. The most common application methods are
foliar spray, stump treatment, basal soil treatment,
and basal bark application. In foliar treatments the
herbicides are pre-mixed with diluent and sprayed
onto the foliage of the plant. Usually the leaves are
"sprayed-to-wet" which means applying only enough
solution to begin running off the leaf surface. Basal
soil treatments can be used with either liquid or dry
formulations. The material is broadcast onto the soil
under the canopy of the tree. Rainfall carries the
herbicide into the root zone of the plant where it is
absorbed by the roots. The basal bark application
consists of the herbicide solution being applied, most
commonly by back-pack sprayer, in a wide band on
the stems of the plants near the base. The material is
absorbed into the plant and translocated throughout
the plant. Another technique is to treat the stump
with a herbicide solution immediately after cutting

the tree at or near ground level. There are other
application methods such as the "frill and girdle",
and various direct injection techniques for the control
of exotic species. However, these methods are not
practical for controlling Brazilian pepper. Aerial
application of herbicides can be used in areas that
are remote or where there are large monotypic stands.
Since the 1960s, various agencies have used
available products to manage the growth and spread
of Brazilian pepper. Prior to the establishment of the
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
this plant was controlled using SILVEX (2,4,5-TP)
applied as a foliar treatment from truck-mounted
sprayers. This was a chlorinated phenoxy herbicide in
the same group of chemicals as 2,4-D. By the time
EPA suspended all uses of SILVEX, circa 1976, the
Velsicol Chemical Company had registered another
phenoxy-type compound known as BANVEL 720
(dicamba plus 2,4-D) for use on woody species. In
the early 1980s other compounds such as triclopyr,
glyphosate, hexazinone, tebuthiuron, and imazapyr
were being developed for managing vegetation on
rights-of-way. The South Florida Water Management
District (SFWMD) provided field trial sites for these
compounds during and after their development
process. Although data collected from these trials
were not published, most of these products provided
95% 100% control of Brazilian Pepper when
applied in accordance with label directions.
In the early 1980s, several studies were done to
determine which herbicides and rates are most
effective for Brazilian pepper infestations. Woodall
(1982), working at the USDA Southeastern Forest
Experiment Station, tested eight herbicides at various
rates in both greenhouse and field studies. He found
that DED-WEED (2,4,5-TP), HYVAR (bromacil),
KARMEX (diuron), TORDON (picloram plus 2,4-D),
and VELPAR (hexazinone) provided 100% control of
seedlings in the greenhouse study. AMMATE X
(ammonium-sulfate), BANVEL (dicamba) and
ROUNDUP (glyphosate) did not provide significant
seedling control. In the field study basal soil treat-
ments using HYVAR and VELPAR were effective in
controlling Brazilian pepper trees. Results of foliar
applications using DED-WEED, BANVEL, VELPAR,
and AMMATE X (ammonium-sulfamate) proved vari-
able at best (Table 1).
Ewel et al. (1982) chose five products for field tri-
als at Everglades National Park following an initial
screening of potential herbicides. These included
BANVEL 720, BANVEL 5G (dicamba), ROUNDUP,
VELPAR and GARLON (triclopyr). Herbicides were
applied in February and March. Results indicate that
Brazilian pepper can be killed with a foliar applica-
tion of triclopyr and glyphosate at high rates, basal

bark treatments with triclopyr, and basal soil
Treatments with hexazinone. The two
< dicamba formulations were not effective
(Table 2). Ewel noted two reasons for a
sr p ngtime application. First, low water levels
increased accessibility and reduced environmen-
tal hazards associated with introducing herbicides
to flooded soil. Second, herbicide uptake is greatest if
applied when a plant is metabolically active. Male
trees produce new leaves after the end of autumn
flowering in November. Female trees do not resume
new leaf production until fruit fall is completed in
February/March. It should be noted that Woodall's
study was conducted in late summer to late autumn
as compared to Ewell's study which was conducted
in February and March. Based on later studies
(Vandiver, 1993, personal communication), it is likely
that timing of application is very important.
In studies conducted at Everglades National Park,
Doren and Whiteaker (1990) showed that the basal
bark application of GARLON 4 (triclopyr) at a 2%
solution provided 94% control and that higher
concentrations did not provide any significant
increase in the amount of control obtained (Table 3).
Laroche and Baker (1994) evaluated several
herbicides and application techniques. Application
techniques included foliar, basal bark, basal soil,
and direct tree injection with E-Z-JECT capsules and
FICSAN plugs. The established treatment plots were
heavily infested with Brazilian pepper, generally very
dense and consisting of numerous individual trees
which were multi-stemmed. The corresponding
treatment number of E-Z-JECT capsules were injected
into the bark of each stem. The E-Z-JECT system uses
a five-foot long, spring-loaded, telescoping barrel to
inject 22-caliber cartridges into the bark of the tree.
Each capsule is filled with a waxy formulation of
herbicide which slowly melts with increased tempera-
tures and is absorbed by the tree. In another treat-
ment, FICSAN plugs were placed in small openings,
created with a hollow-core tipped hammer, around
the circumference of each stem. These plugs are made
of plastic and are specially designed to rupture from
the inside when hammered into the opening, releas-
ing herbicide into the tree (Laroche, 1992). Foliar
applications were made with a truck mounted sprayer.
The appropriate amount of each herbicide was dilut-
ed in 50 gallons of water and the resulting solution
was sprayed over the foliage with a handgun. Foliar
applications were directed to each individual tree
in each plot to minimize damage to non-target
vegetation. Basal soil treatments were made with a
backpack sprayer by applying the appropriate
amount of undiluted herbicide on the soil around the
base of each stem. SPIKE 40P (tebuthiuron) was also

applied by hand-throwing the appropriate amount of
pellets around the base of each tree. Basal bark appli-
cations were made with a backpack sprayer by
applying the appropriate amount of herbicide directly
onto the bark around the circumference of each
stem. The herbicide was diluted in diesel oil to facili-
tate penetration of the bark. All treatments were
applied in March. The plots were evaluated one year
post treatment and percent mortality or defoliation
was used to determine the effect of each treatment
(Table 4).
Neither the E-Z-JECT or FISCAN plug treatments
produced acceptable control levels. Herbicide
symptoms were apparent in these treatments but none
of the trees were defoliated. In addition these applica-
tion techniques were cumbersome and difficult to use
due to the density of the understory and multiple-
stem growth habit of the trees. Foliar application of
GARLON 3A and ARSENAL (imazapyr) resulted in
greater than 90% control at both rates. RODEO
(glyphosate), even at the higher rate, resulted in defoli-
ation of only 32% of the trees. According to Vandiver
(1993, personal communication) RODEO tends to be
more effective on Brazilian pepper when applied in
December in South Florida. Basal soil application of
VELPAR and SPIKE were very effective. Basal bark
application of GARLON 4 in an oil based solution is
also very effective. The results of this study showed that
site conditions and seasonal timing of application will
determine the most effective combination of herbicide
and method necessary to achieve good control of this
pest plant. Since this study was done, VELPAR has lost
its registration for use in wetland areas and can only be
used in upland terrestrial sites and SPIKE is no longer
registered in Florida. This is due to their persistence in
the soil and potential for contamination of groundwater.
These studies indicate that several herbicides can
effectively control Brazilian pepper. Generally, site
conditions will often determine what combination
of herbicide and method of application to use for
the control of this pest plant in South Florida.
Additionally more research is necessary to further
understand the relationship between herbicide
effectiveness and time of application.
See appendix on page 27 for detailed information
on herbicide control techniques.

Table 1 Results of herbicide trials on Brazilian pepper conducted by Woodall (1982).

Herbicide Rate Method % Cont. Summary

AMMATE .46kg Stump 43% Stump treatments are suitable only when
a.i./Liter tops are required to be removed from the
BAVEL .06kg Stump 90% site. They give temporary control and are
BANVEL .06kg Stump 90%
a.i./Liter labor intensive.
DED-WEED .06kg Stump 92%
VELPAR 4.5 kg Broadcast-soil 95% New seedling developed within 9 months,
a.i./ha possibly originating from stored seeds as
well as a new seed crop.
AMMATE 65kg Foliar 0% Due to the fact that foliar applications
a.i./1000 L are a physiologically indirect means
BANVEL 1.2kg Foliar 52% of killing root systems, the probability for
a.i./1000 L long lasting success with this method is
low -Brazilian Pepper is a vigorous, easily
DED-WEED 4.8kg Foliar 82% sprouting species
a. sprouting species.
a.i./1000 L
VELPAR 4.8kg Foliar 75%
a.i./1000 L
VELPAR 8ml/ Basal-soil 98% For widely scattered bushes where access
5cm s.b.d. to the main stem is difficult, basal spot is
HYVAR 8ml/ Basal-soil 98% easy, effective and selective.
5cm s.b.d.

Table 2 Results of herbicide trials on Brazilian pepper conducted by Ewell et al., (1982)

Herbicide Rate Method % Cont. Summary
BANVEL 5% Foliar 58% Malformed epicormic and basal sprouts
720 Liq. were observed after defoliation following
BANVEL 2.5% Foliar 77% application, but most of these sprouts
720 Liq. later died
BANVEL 3.5% Foliar 73%
720 Invert
BANVEL 1.8% Foliar 62%
720 Invert
BANVEL 5G 48ml/m Soil 18% Results were not readily visible until at
crown dm. least 2 months after application. This
BANVEL 5G 8ml/m Soil 8% treatment was not effective even after 9
crown dm. months following application.
ROUNDUP 1.7% Foliar 54% Recommended for large numbers of small
individuals, as in the understory of a stand.
ROUNDUP .8% Foliar 100%

VELPAR 24 g/L Foliar 100% Killed >75% of the neighboring shrubs and
water vines, most of them were still dead 9 months
VELPAR 12g/L Foliar 100% post treatment.
GARLON .8% Foliar 92% Recommended for large numbers of small
(M-4021) individuals, as in the understory of a stand.
GARLON .3% Foliar 77%
GARLON 1.5% Basal-Bark 100% Had little long-term impact on understory
(M-4021) plants. Recommended for killing large trees.
GARLON .5% Basal-Bark 100%

Table 3 Results of herbicide trials on Brazilian pepper conducted by Doren and Whiteaker (1990).

Herbicide Rate Method % Cont. Summary
GARLON 4 2% Basal Bark 94% Very little difference in treatment
effectiveness between the two

GARLON 4 4% Basal Bark 96% See above.

Table 4 Results of herbicide trials on Brazilian pepper conducted by Laroche and Baker (1994).

Method' Herbicide Rate % Control
EZJECT RODEO 1 capsule @ 2" intervals 0%
RODEO 1 capsule @ 4" intervals 0%
RODEO 1 capsule @ 8" intervals 0%
FISCAN SPIKE 1 capsule @ 3" intervals 0%
SPIKE 1 capsule @ 6" intervals 0%
SPIKE 1 capsule @ 12" intervals 0%
VELPAR 1 capsule @ 3" intervals 0%
VELPAR 1 capsule @ 6" intervals 0%
VELPAR 1 capsule @ 12" intervals 0%
Basal Soil SPIKE 0.25 ounces / 6" BSD2 98%
SPIKE 0.5 ounces / 6" BSD 95%
SPIKE 1 ounce/ 6" BSD 97%
VELPAR 2 milliliters / every 2" BSD 40%
VELPAR 4 milliliters / every 2" BSD 84%
VELPAR 8 milliliters/every 2" BSD 91%
Basal Bark GARLON 4 1:4 oil @ 0.1 oz/ 1" BSD 5%
GARLON 4 1:4 oil @ 0.25 oz/ 1" BSD 10%
GARLON 4 1:4 oil @ 0.5 oz/1" BSD 55%
Foliar ARSENAL 0.5% solution3 95%
ARSENAL 1.0% solution 98%
GARLON 3A 1.5% solution 93%
GARLON 3A 3.0% solution 97%
RODEO 0.5% solution 0%
RODEO 1.5% solution 55%

1 EZJECT Injection ammo is pre-formulated with an 83.5% formulation of Glyphosate, and FISCAN Injection
plugs are pre-formulated with a 90% formulation of hexazinone or an 80% formulation of the butiron.

2 BSD = Basal stem diameter

3 Half a pint of X77 and 8 oz of submerge was added to each 50 gallon solution. Each Brazilian pepper tree was
sprayed to wet.

Proposed and Enacted Laws
In Florida, widespread recognition of the
-severe threat posed by Brazilian pepper is
-,ident in the many laws enacted throughout the
-rre to prohibit the sale and cultivation of this
plant. There is a state law prohibiting the sale,
cultivation and transportation of Brazilian pepper. In
1990, section 369.251, was passed by the Florida
legislature. In 1993, 16C-52, Florida Administrative
Code, was amended putting Brazilian pepper on the
state's prohibited plant list.

Several counties restrict the sale, transportation
or cultivation of Brazilian pepper by law. Many of
these counties also control it by omission from tree
protection ordinances or require removal upon
site development. Some counties have permitting
requirements before removal is allowed. The
following counties have ordinances that prohibit
the sale or require the removal of Brazilian pepper:
Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Dade, Highlands,
Hillsboro, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin,
Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Sarasota, Seminole,
St. Lucie, Volusia.

Counties having ordinances that
prohibit the sale or require removal
of Brazilian pepper.

The integrated management of Brazilian
[pepper requires a combination of control
Srel.iniques to be effective. Essential elements
of effective management include: biological,
herbicidal, mechanical and physical control.
Comprehensive descriptions for each of these
management techniques are located in Section VI.
Prior to implementing Brazilian pepper controls
the following factors must be considered and used in
developing a site specific control plan:
1) Occurrence extent of infestation, density, spatial
distribution and other plant communities that
are present.
2) Topography and soils How does occurrence
relate to elevation and soils? What are the
characteristics of the soils organic, sandy, hydric?
3) Hydrology Has the site been impacted by
drainage? Are there canals, agricultural fields, or
wells nearby that may have caused a drawdown of
the water table on the site?
4) Available management techniques -Which
method of treatment or combination of methods is
most suitable to the site being treated?
5) Economic factors How much will it cost to exert
initial control and then provide a long term
follow up? What are sources of funding, grants,
mitigation? Will the work be done by agency staff
or by a contractor?
6) Public perception Will public reaction cause bad
publicity? What can be done to educate the public
to avoid negative reaction?
7) Work schedule Determine a reasonable time
schedule as a goal for initial treatment and plan
for routine maintenance control.
The key to an effective and long-lasting manage-
ment program for Brazilian pepper is the introduction
of biological control agents. Without biological
control, Brazilian pepper elimination will be much
more expensive and will not be truly integrated.
The current investigation into biological organisms
will most likely result in the introduction of
defoliators and sprout inhibitors. Once introduced,
several years are generally required for populations to
build effective levels. In the interim, and throughout
the biocontrol introduction phase, herbicidal and
mechanical controls will be required to reduce cur-
rent infestations and prevent spread into uninfested
areas. Manual removal of seedlings in combination
with single tree herbicide applications is the most
conservative approach in natural areas. However,
individual tree treatments are costly. Thus, less costly

The integrated management of Brazilian pepper requires a
combination of control techniques to be effective.

methods of herbicide application are currently being
investigated. Direct herbicide application can still
result in non-target damage, as much as a year after
treatment, depending on the herbicide used. Aerial
application of herbicides may result in less herbicide
being used on a site and in some situations may
lower the cost of initial treatment. Manual removal of
seedlings may not be advisable in all situations due
to the percentage of roots broken below the ground
surface. In addition, the soil disturbance that results
may stimulate more seeds to germinate, mechanical
removal using heavy equipment is best suited for
rights-of-way and other areas where routine
maintenance follows and site disturbance is not
a concern.


S Big Cypress National
Brazilian pepper is one of the most
problematic exotic species in the Preserve.
Brazilian pepper quickly invades disturbed, well-
drained sites such as roadside soil banks, levees, oil
well pads, old farm fields, and abandoned homesites,
with the largest monotypic stands occurring on filled
sites. In addition, scattered trees and small stands can
be found in hardwood hammocks, as an understory
plant in pinelands, and as an epiphyte on stumps and
cypress knees.
Brazilian pepper control has been ongoing since
the creation of the Preserve in 1974. Primary treat-
ment methods have been basal treatments with 15%
Garlon 4 using diesel fuel as a carrier or stump
treatments using 100% Garlon 3A". In 1994, a 150
gallon spray tank was purchased and a foliar spray
program was initiated using Garlon 4" herbicide
(2.5% solution) with water and Kinetic added as a
surfactant. This program was designed to reduce the
seed source in an effort to minimize Brazilian pepper
recruitment into surrounding natural areas.
Another facet of the National Park Service effort to
eradicate Brazilian pepper from the Preserve relies
on the use of heavy equipment. Prior to federal
acquisition, lands within the Preserve were often
used for activities that resulted in disturbance to the

natural landscape. These lands were subject to rock
mining, homesteads, farming, and road and canal
construction. These human-caused changes to the
landscape often resulted in the filling of wetlands.
These filled areas are almost always heavily infested
with Brazilian pepper.
The strategy for eradicating the Brazilian pepper
focused on its intolerance to extended inundation
(Hilsenbeck, 1972, as cited in Duever, etal., 1986).
Based on this premise, the plan for eradicating
the Brazilian pepper from these areas focused on
extending the hydroperiod by restoring the areas
elevations to predisturbance conditions.
Brazilian pepper was mechanically removed from
the areas utilizing a bulldozer with a root rake. With
the use of a track-hoe and bulldozer, the fill material
was excavated and disposed of. The final elevations
were determined by the presence of cap rock and/or
the elevations of the surrounding areas. Monitoring
of these sites has revealed no re-establishment by
Brazilian pepper. To date, over 250 acres of Brazilian
pepper have been removed.

Biscayne National Park
Brazilian pepper is less problematic on the islands
of Biscayne National Park than other invasive pest
plants such as Colubrina asiatica (Lather leaf),
Thespesia populnea (Seaside mahoe) and Schaevola
taccada. However, on the mainland, especially
around Convoy Point, Brazilian pepper is becoming

Brazilian pepper growing as an epiphyte on a palm trunk.

more widespread, particularly after Hurricane
Andrew. A possible reason for this is the
Transport of copious seed material from the
islands to the mainland by hurricane winds.
I leT plant quickly colonized disturbed sites and,
: 'in:e established, spread to new areas. The areal
extent of Brazilian pepper coverage in Biscayne
National Park today is unknown, and a mapping
project is planned to provide this information.
Since Hurricane Andrew, exotic plant control in
Biscayne National Park has not been performed with
any regularity. The resource managers are formulating
an exotic plant management plan and hope to imple-
ment a major initiative soon. Documentation of
control efforts will be required under the new plan.
The main method used for the treatment of
Brazilian pepper is cut and spray using Garlon 3A.
Basal bark treatments using Garlon 4 are being
planned. The latter treatment will be used on
Brazilian pepper in remote areas, while the cut
and spray method will be applied on trees in high
profile areas.

De Soto National Memorial
Brazilian pepper is one of the most problematic
exotic species in DESO Park. It is found in the Park's
dense mangroves and in isolated areas adjacent to
the Park. Mechanical removal has been used in
appropriate areas.
The herbicidal control involves applying triclopyr
(Garlon 3A) to fresh cut stumps 4" to 6" in length. It
is applied with a hand pressure sprayer. Product use
rate is applied at an undiluted or 1:1 mixture applied
to the cambium. The DESO Brazilian pepper control
program was initiated as of January 1994.

Everglades National Park
Schinus terebinthifolius was first reported grow-
ing in a farmed area of the Park known a Hole-in-
the-Donut in 1959 (Alexander & Crook, 1974) but
probably became established there in the 1940's
(Olmsted & Johnson, 1983). It began to spread
throughout this area as these farmlands were aban-
doned. In the early 1960's, Craighead reported that
Brazilian pepper had advanced around Everglades
City. In 1972, after Hurricane Donna, Hilsenbeck
found that the plant had invaded Muhlenbergia
prairie and the mangrove zone near West Lake.
Brazilian pepper distribution was mapped by Park
resource management personnel in 1976 and found
to have spread to parts of the pinelands, the
Flamingo area, the coastal area around Madeira and
Little Madeira Bays, and north of Park headquarters
along the eastern Park boundary. An unpublished
report by Koepp (1978) on the occurrence of

Casuarina in the southeastern corner of the Park
indicated its presence there as well.
A 1982 survey of Brazilian pepper in mangrove
areas found that plants were discontinuously distrib-
uted and occurred in patches with certain habitats;
i.e., low mangrove areas, being more susceptible to
invasion than others (Olmsted & Johnson, 1983).
The most recent information on Brazilian pepper
distribution in the Park is derived from a Park
mapping project using 1987 aerial photographs. This
distribution map reveals an areal extent of Brazilian
pepper in excess of 105,000 acres, 95% of which lies
in the mangrove zone along the west and northwest
coasts. Details on the mapping procedure are found
in Rose (1988). Recent, cursory surveys in the East
Everglades indicate that a number of tree islands;
e.g., bayheads in Shark Slough, particularly those dis-
turbed by dry season wildfires and, more recently, by
Hurricane Andrew, are supporting increasing num-
bers of Brazilian pepper.
The size and extent of Brazilian pepper popula-
tions in the Park defy control methods by available
resources. The majority of the control effort-
surveying, treatment, and monitoring, is carried out
by rangers in the various districts of the Park. They are
guided by annual "action plans" developed by
district backcountry rangers in cooperation with Park
resource managers. The control work carried out
varies among the districts and is a reflection of
differences in personnel, funding, and other work
Recent control efforts have concentrated on
maintaining areas treated in past years. Flamingo
District rangers have treated and maintained the area
along the main Park road between West Lake and
Mahogany Hammock and between East and
Northwest Cape. Pine Island District rangers,
with assistance from seasonal work crews, have
maintained the Anhinga Trail at Royal Palm.
Northwest District rangers (at Everglades City) have
treated and maintained several backcountry
campsites. The time devoted to Brazilian pepper
control is limited by the treatment of other Category I
exotic pest plants including Casuarina spp.
and Colubrina asiatica which have established
populations on the islands and shores of Florida
Bay and the Gulf Coast.
The herbicidal control of Brazilian pepper in the
Park is accomplished by applying trichlopyr (Garlon)
as a basal bark or cut stump treatment. The basal
bark formulation contains 4% 8% mineral oil, while
the cut stump formulation contains 50% water.
Follow-up treatments are necessary to treat regrowth
(sprouts). Small plants are pulled by hand or treated
with a foliar application of Arsenal where the dilution

and rate of application vary depending upon
the formulation used.The mechanical
removal of mature Brazilian pepper from
3.5 acres on an upland site at Chekika
H.mnmock in the East Everglades Acquisition
Ar.a was carried out in the fall of 1993 as part of
a mitigation and restoration project. The Brazilian
pepper trees were uprooted using heavy equipment,
piled into heaps, and mechanically mulched. The
mulch was laced around the bases of native trees left
standing in the cleared area; i.e., Bursera simaruba
and Ficus aurea, creating a series of low maintenance
beds 18 24 inches deep. Brazilian pepper
recruitment in these beds is easily controlled by
hand pulling.
The cleared area, however, consisting of three
zones with varying elevational and hydroperiod
patterns, necessitated that a different Brazilian pepper
management strategy be used for each zone. One
zone (shallow soil on higher ground) is managed to
control the re-establishment of Brazilian pepper by
regular mowing, thus hindering the establishment of
woody vegetation. A second zone (long hydroperiod
marsh) is revegetating naturally with typical wetland
species; Brazilian pepper is controlled by the hand
pulling of seedlings.
The third zone (intermediate in elevation and
hydroperiod) was regarded as being most susceptible
to Brazilian pepper colonization and was covered
with sod (St. Augustine grass) as a temporary ground
cover and weed deterrent. Brazilian pepper has not
yet been found in this zone. This area will eventually
be planted with subtropical hardwood species similar
to those found in the adjacent hammock.

Mitigation Project
Situated within the boundaries of Everglades
National Park, the Hole-in-the-Donut (HID) compris-
es approximately 4,000 ha of previously farmed land.
One-half of the area was rock-plowed, and, after its
abandonment in the mid-1970's, the area has been
invaded by Brazilian pepper The remaining 2,000 ha
of non-rock plowed land, abandoned from 1930
through the early 1960's, has returned primarily to
native vegetation with only a small portion dominat-
ed by Brazilian pepper (Ewel, et al., 1982).
When the Park acquired the HID in 1975, farming
ceased, and restoration of the area was addressed.
Several studies were carried out in the Park to exam-
ine old field succession. (See Doren, et al., 1990, for
a summary.) However, the rapid spread and establish-
ment of Brazilian pepper in the area, estimated at
increasing by as much as twenty times its population

density per year (Loope & Dunevitz, 1981), proved
too overwhelming for successful restoration.
During the late 1970's and 1980's, several methods
were tested to eliminate Brazilian pepper, including
bulldozing, burning, mowing, and planting and
seeding of native species, and all failed. However,
one method, the complete removal of disturbed
substrate, resulted in the recolonization of previously
rock-plowed sites by native vegetation to the exclu-
sion of Brazilian pepper. This has been attributed to
the removal of the effects of the disturbed substrate
and subsequent increase in hydroperiod (Doren, et
al., 1990).
In 1989, through an off-site, compensatory
mitigation project, funding was provided for a pilot
project involving the experimental removal of the
disturbed substrate on approximately 24 ha of
degraded (previously rock-plowed) wetlands with-
in the HID. On 18 ha of the site, Brazilian pepper
was mechanically removed and the soil removed
to bedrock, while on the remaining 6 ha, part of
the soil was left after Brazilian pepper removal.
Continuous monitoring has revealed that the larger
site has successfully eliminated Brazilian pepper
(and other pest plants) and restored native wetland
species, while Schinus has recolonized the entire
area of partial soil removal. This study and data
from several other sites in Dade County indicate
that the restoration of Brazilian pepper-dominated,
rock-plowed wetlands are dependent upon the
complete removal of the fundamental substrate;
i.e., the artificially created substrate with
concomitant hydrological improvements. Details
of the pilot study are given in Doren, et al. (1990).
The apparent success of the pilot project has
encouraged the Park to expand the work on a
larger scale and reclaim all the remaining Brazilian
pepper-dominated, rock-plowed wetlands within
the HID. The Park has applied for a Federal Clean
Water Act, Section 404, dredge and fill permit and
a State of Florida wetland regulatory permit to
establish a regional mitigation bank. It is estimated
that the mechanical removal of Brazilian pepper
(and subsequent substrate removal) from the
entire 2,000 ha in the HID will take up to 20 years
to complete.

Myakka River State Park
Opened to the public in 1942, Myakka River State
Park encompasses 28,875 acres. Oak and cabbage
palm hammocks, grassy marshes and sloughs
surround both the upper and lower Myakka Lakes.
Vast expanses of dry prairie and pine flatwoods help
make Myakka River State Park one of the largest and
most biologically diverse parks in the state.

S Its proximity to the coast and limited sur-
rounding developments have helped to
restrict the level of Brazilian pepper infesta-
tion within the park. Following resource
im.-inagement guidelines set by the Florida park
T-,ice and the unit management plan
specifically outlined for the park, an average of 100
Brazilian pepper trees are reported and removed
from the park each year. An aggressive monitoring
program by park staff requires exotic species to be
reported. Location information is logged, and the
trees are slated for removal.
Volunteers and various community organizations,
including community service workers, are used to
help park staff in Brazilian pepper removal. Early
detection allows workers to hand pull young
seedlings and saplings. Larger trees (up to 3" caliper)
are removed (including the root systems) by hand
digging. When hand removal becomes impractical
due to size or location, Garlon 4 (mixed with JLB oil)
is applied as a basal bark treatment

Sanibel Island Sanibel-Captiva
Conservation Foundation
Results from an experiment conducted by the
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) on
Sanibel Island, Florida (1990-1991), and the effects of
a substantial rainfall in 1995 suggest that Brazilian
pepper can be stressed or killed by flooding.
In both cases, Brazilian pepper did not exhibit
the adaptations generally found in wetland species
of woody plants in response to flooding. These
adaptations include adventitious rooting and lentical
enlargement (Kozlowski, 1984), both of which were
observed in buttonwood trees immediately adjacent
to the stressed Brazilian pepper.
Inundation produced stress to varying degrees
including leaf chlorosis, wilting and abscission. Trees
that lost all of their leaves eventually died. Dead trees
took approximately 1.5 years to decompose.
The following are results of the SCCF 1990-1991
experiment that involved the artificial flooding by
periodic pumping of a 4.5 acre Brazilian pepper-
infested impoundment of varying grade elevations.
The average water level in the impoundment for 77
days (September 19-December 4) was 3.2 feet
NGVD, with a high of 3.9 feet NGVD. Trees flooded
by an average of 9.5 to 15 inches of water showed
varying degrees of stress; some lost all of their leaves,
and died, while others recovered from leaf chlorosis,
wilting and partial leaf abscission. Flooding levels of
less than 9.5 inches of water created little or no
stress. Trees with lateral roots which could reach
areas of decreased inundation exhibited less stress

than would be indicated by the inundation level of
the main trunk. Soils in the lower areas (15 to 22
inches of inundation) tended to be more organic
in nature and may have been more conducive to
creating an anaerobic state which caused severe root
stress. Other encroaching plant species which were
stressed include wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) and
saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia).
Similar results were observed on a larger scale in
1995. In the Spring of this year, a new water control
structure was completed on Sanibel Island. The crest
elevation is 3.2 NGVD. The capacity of the structure
to release water through the opening of gates was
offset by the ability to hold water 0.7 feet (8.4 inches)
higher than previously possible. This allowed for
higher water levels in Brazilian pepper-infested interior
wetlands in the western half of the island. Brazilian
pepper exhibited signs of severe stress in areas of
low elevations. During periods of high summer rains
(July 18-October 29), water levels averaged 3.1 feet
NGVD with a high of 3.7 feet and a low of 2.6 feet.
Two significant impacts were observed: stress
on hardwood vegetation, predominantly Brazilian
pepper in low-lying areas, and the restoration of
open water sites, especially in areas where pre-
scribed burns were performed in early June 1995.
Brazilian pepper stress ranged from total leaf loss
and death in low-lying areas, to partial leaf loss in
transition zones, to leaf yellowing in lower ridge
areas. Other encroaching plant species that were
stressed include wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) and
saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia).

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