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Texas Pistache Pistacia mexicana (Pistacia texana)


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Texas Pistache
© Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Alternate name: Wild Pistachio, American Pistachio, Copall Pistachio

Family: Anacardiaceae, Cashew view all from this family

Description Large, airy, rounded shrub or multi-trunked small tree. Foliage glossy, reddish in spring, dark-green later, pinnately compound. Leaves relatively small, shiny, usually evergreen bronze colored at the growing tips. Clusters of small, white flowers followed by clusters of red, nut-like drupes on females.

Dimensions Height: 6 m. (20 ft.)
Diameter: 20 cm. (8 in.).

Habitat Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Canyons & valleys.

Range Texas.

Discussion Heat, drought and salt tolerant, pH adaptable, must have good drainage.

Comments Given too much water, this plant can get top-heavy and fall over in high winds. Disease free. It is the Old World species, P. vera, which produces the edible nut of commerce.

Exposure Preference Sun.

Flower May - July

Native Distribution S. Texas & n.e. Mexico

Site Preference Limestone cliffs; ravine edges

Soil Preference Well-drained, alkaline soil.

Wildlife Value Fruits attract birds.