Schinus molle is a quick-growing evergreen tree that grows up to 15 meters (50 feet) tall and wide. It is the largest of all Schinus species and potentially the longest-lived. The upper branches of the tree tend to droop.
The tree’s pinnately compound leaves measure 8–25 cm long × 4–9 cm wide and are made up of 19-41 alternate leaflets. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants (dioecious). Flowers are small, white and borne profusely in panicles at the ends of the drooping branches.
The fruit is 5–7 mm diameter round drupes with woody seeds that turn from green to red, pink or purplish, carried in dense clusters of hundreds of berries that can be present year-round. The rough greyish bark is twisted and drips sap. The bark, leaves and berries are aromatic when crushed.