John Mayer's Real Estate Blog: Friday's Fhotos - Invasion of the Brazillian Pepper Tree and White Ibis

Friday's Fhotos - Invasion of the Brazillian Pepper Tree and White Ibis

Originally from South America, Brazilian pepper is a highly invasive plant that aggressively consumes native vegetation in our Florida ecosystems. This plant is believed to have been brought in to the United States years ago for its attractive red berries. Once in a location, Brazilian pepper produces hundreds to thousands of red berries which propagate the plant further. Birds aid in seed dispersal as they love the ruby red berries for food. Since it has such an aggressive growth rate, Brazilian pepper quickly shades out native plant material, killing native vegetation.

Brazillian Pepper Tree Berries

Pepper Tree Berries

Florida residents are urged to cut these trees down and use proper herbicide to kill the roots.

Brazillian Pepper Tree

These White Ibis have taken up residence down by the Lagoon and spend most of their day foraging.

Ibis forgaing for food

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Comment balloon 13 commentsJohn Mayer • January 21 2011 01:26AM

Comments

Looks nice and warm.  I think there are a lot of invasive species in Florida aren't there.  You know...if you think about it, probably most species are invasive to one extent or another.  Except for the species that are native to only that area.  

Posted by Marty Van Diest, Your Alaskan Realtor (Valley Market Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Marty - You have a point but these trees grow like weeds and can really harm an ecosystem. We do have a lot of non native species in Florida and I just blogged about the aggresive Lion Fish. Many species fit in with little or no damage.

Posted by John Mayer, Your Beach Area Expert (Oikos Realty, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach Florida) over 8 years ago

I have had them in my yard and the red berries are black pepper.  Dry them skin them and put in a pepper grinder.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) over 8 years ago

Tim - Sound like a lot of work. I think I'll let the birds eat them :-)

Posted by John Mayer, Your Beach Area Expert (Oikos Realty, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach Florida) over 8 years ago

I love to watch the Ibis; they stay together in a group and just keep walking. I didn't know what those plants were but we see them along the sides of the highways a lot. Thanks for the info, John.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

John, it is a pretty tree, too bad it is so harmful to the ecosystem!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 8 years ago

John, Amazing how something so pretty can be so deadly.  Nice photos.  Could use some of that warmth here today....sunny here but windy and just below freezing.

Have a great weekend.
Gloria

Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Century 21 Absolute Realty ) over 8 years ago

It really is a beautiful plant, so I can understood how it was chosen to be imported.  We have a similar problem along the California Coastline, with non-native plants.  We try to control it in areas, but we aren't always successful.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 8 years ago

Toni - You're right. White Ibis are fun to watch!

Tony and Darcy - Sometime you can't judge a tree by it's fruit :-)

Gloria - It's only going to be 62* here Saturday and chilly for the rest of the week. Oh well, it's still January.

Myrl - This tree grows like a weed and chokes out other species. It's too bad because, as you say, it's a nice looking tree.

Posted by John Mayer, Your Beach Area Expert (Oikos Realty, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach Florida) over 8 years ago

John - Some people are very allergic to the Brazilian Pepper Tree--we had one in our yard when we lived in Florida and my eyes were always weepy--I had the tree removed.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 8 years ago

John, I live in Phoenix Az and three years ago I purchased two Brazilian Pepper trees. I was not told about the problems of this tree. Can I make the Nursery I bought them from come and remove the trees and kill the roots and replace them with a tree that will not cause the problems these tres can cause?

Posted by Sheila over 8 years ago

Norma - Maybe that's what I'm allergic to as well.

Sheila - You will have to call the nursery and ask them but I highly doubt if they will do anything. Let me know.

Posted by John Mayer, Your Beach Area Expert (Oikos Realty, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach Florida) over 8 years ago

John. I am a resident of Florida. Would I see the Pepper tree as a shrub? I had a Streaked Sphinx caterpillar climbing down a shrub in my yard yesterday. Next to it I have another type of shrub that has red berries. Just wondering where that Sphinx caterpillar came from.

Posted by Jeanette almost 4 years ago

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