by Stephen Mifsud
   3 Aug 2020      ()
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Pistacia vera   (Pistacio Tree)

Pistacia vera  (ANACARDIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Pistacia vera retrieved from on 2020-Aug-03

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Pistacia veraL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 2: 1025 (1753).

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Pistacia narbonnensis L.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Anacardiaceae Lindl. (The Pistachio Family)
9 species from the Anacardiaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Pistacio Tree

Maltese name(s) :

Siġra tal-Pistacja

Status for Malta :

Introduced species for horticulture (flowering plants) or agriculture (herbs or fruiting trees) usually within the last 30-150 years and persist for long after their original location or site is abandoned. They do not widespread but usually remain as a single tree or a very localised population.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very Rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte (high trees usually over 10m )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:


Remarks :

Mentioned as a cultivar tree in old literature (e.g. Dr. John Borg, 1927) but seems that now it has decreased drastically. It was often used to be grafted on rootstock of P. terebinthus since the latter had a better environment adaptibilty than that of P. vera trees in our islands. When such agricultural practice was abandoned, it is thought that such grafted trees have with time reverted back to the mother plant of P. terebinthus - with a rather atypical morphology!

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Cultivated for its edible seeds in S. Europe

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Sheltered cultivated areas, gardens and groves. Moat of the trees cultivated and persisting on their own without mediation of man.

Botanical Description:

Small deciduous tree or shrub up to 6 m. Leaves imparipinnate; leaflets usually 1-3 (seldom 5) 3-7 cm long, ovate to obovate or oblong, mucronate, coriaceous, puberulent when young; rhachis minutely winged; petioles pubescent. Inflorescence with long branches. Flowers brownish. Drupe 2-3 mm long, obovoid, compressed, apiculate, at first reddish, becoming brown.

Distributional range:

S. Europe and perhaps locally naturalized

Native region outside Europe:

Temperate Asia

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Introduced in  Doubtful in France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Doubtful in Greece, Doubtful in Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Doubtful in Sicily and/or Malta

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

Ab(A) Si(S) Tu(A) [Ab(N) Bl cCy dGa(F) cGr Hs(S) It cLe Li cLS Ma Sa cSi cSy Uk(U)]

Images (3 images)
   Pistacia vera   -   Image Code: PSTVE-0.
   Pistacia vera   -   Image Code: PSTVE-1.
   Pistacia vera   -   Image Code: PSTVE-2.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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