Native to South America, Pink Peppercorn was introduced on La Réunion in 1843. This shrub can today be found on most of the low and mid-altitude areas, as well as on the windward coast and the leeward coast, and in the circuses of the heart of the island. The harvesting and sale of those berries constitute an economic activity. Pink peppercorn is exported at a rate of 200 tons per year and has a great impact on the local economy.
This aromatic plant whose berries are used as spices under the trade name “baies roses” is toxic at high doses.
A dioecious plant with the flowering happening once or twice yearly, it invades through monospecific stands, the coastal ponds, estuaries, mouths of rivers and semi-dry forests of the Massif de la Montagne.
It is a typical plant of secondary environments where it develops rapidly to the detriment of the indigenous flora from which it deprives of light. It is known to prevent the development of other species in the immediate vicinity from the foot by allelopathy. It forms part of the 100 most invasive species of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).