The California pepper tree is a large evergreen tree native to the Andes mountains in Peru. It is grown for ornamental purposes and as a source of seasoning, as it produces what are commonly called pink peppercorns as fruit. Despite the name, pepper trees are not related to true peppers.
California pepper trees are widespread not only in South America and California, but also Texas, Florida, Hawaii, South Africa and Australia. It is an invasive species whose seeds are spread by birds into new environments after deliberate planting. It grows quickly and hardy. It also tolerates dry conditions very well, enabling its spread into semi-deserts, grasslands and dry open forests.