Brazilian Pepper is a sprawling shrub or small tree, reaching a height of 7–10 m. The branches can be upright, reclining, or nearly vine-like, all on the same plant. Its plastic morphology allows it to thrive in all kinds of ecosystems: from dunes to swamps, where it grows as a quasi-aquatic plant. The leaves are alternate, 10–22 cm long, pinnately compound with (3-) 5-15 leaflets; the leaflets are roughly oval (lanceolate to elliptical), 3–6 cm long and 2-3.5 cm broad, and have finely toothed margins, an acute to rounded apex and yellowish veins. The leaf rachis between the leaflets is usually (but not invariably) slightly winged. The plant is dioeceous, with small white flowers borne profusely in axillary clusters. The fruit is a small red spherical drupe 4–5 mm diameter, carried in dense clusters of hundreds of berries.
Native to subtropical and tropical South America (southeastern Brazil, northern Argentina and Paraguay). It is found in the following states of Brazil: Alagoas, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, São Paulo and Sergipe.
Extremely invasive here in the United States. This tree can cause allergic reactions in some people!