Pistacia terebinthus - Mastic Tree or European Pistachio, Turpentine Tree


  • This is a Pistacia species, native around the Mediterranean. It can grow up to 2-3m and has a strong smell of resin. It is not fully hardy in Britain but would highly benefit if you have a hot, dry spot, often against a south facing wall, especially in Southern Britain. The thick, compostire leaves often have a purple tint. The young stems and the female plants are showy with red fruits from late Summer (if seed is needed, a male should be planted around as it is dioecious). It will thrive on any soil with good drainage. It can be grown as a pot plant or a patio plant.


 Also known as:                                                               Mastic
 Native to:                                                                       Europe, around the Mediterranean, most often on rocky hills
 Family:                                                                           Anacardiaceae - Sumac Family
 Habit (UK conditions):                                                     Dioecious, large shrub or small tree
 Typical size in 10 years (UK conditions, in pot):              2 x 1m
 Main value:                                                                      Foliage, fruits
 Flowers are:                                                                    Red
 Flowering period:                                                            April-May
 Autumn coloration:                                                         (evergreen)
 Preferences:                                                                    Full sun with little watering, not fussy to soil, prefers a hot, sheltered spot
 Hardiness:                                                                       Usually fully hardy in Southern Britain, especially around the coasts
 Known hazards:                                                               If consumed, it may cause stomach upset in children
 Edible uses:                                                                     None to our knowledge but medicinal uses are common


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