Evergreen Pistache

Pistacia lentiscus
Characteristics
Category Tree
Size 25' x 25'
Flower Color Inconspicuous
Flower Season Spring
Exposure Full Sun
Water
Growth Rate
Hardiness 15°F
Notes:

Description

This dense evergreen makes an excellent screen, growing twenty to twenty-five feet high and wide. It can be trained as a single or multi-stem tree or a large hedge. Its small, leathery leaves are olive green and have three to five pairs of leaflets. It produces inconspicuous flowers in the spring followed by black or red seeds. Its attractive stems are reddish in color when young, turning gray as they mature.  The evergreen pistache was given its name because it produces a sweet-flavored resin called mastic, which comes from the bark of the trunk and softens when chewed. The resin is used as a breath freshener and to flavor puddings and cakes. Use it in the landscape as a hedge, windbreak, screen, or patio tree, or around pools and water features. It can also be used in areas as a lush transitional plant between low-water-use and oasis-type landscapes. The tree is native to Mediterranean regions such as Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, and Africa, growing on dry hillsides usually by the coast.

Maintenance

The mastic is hardy into the mid teens with leaf and stem damage at lower temperatures. This plant loves full sun but can take some partial shade. It is drought-resistant, but weekly irrigation accelerates its growth rate. It prefers well-draining soil, is low-maintenance and requires little pruning. It is also a disease- and insect-resistant tree.
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