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Pistacia mexicana Kunth
Mexican Pistachio, Texas Pistachio, American Pistachio, Copal Pistachio, Wild Pistachio, Lentisco, Texas Pistache
Anacardiaceae (Sumac Family)
Synonym(s): Pistacia texana
USDA Symbol: pime4
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Pistacia mexicana is a large, airy, rounded shrub or multi-trunked small tree, 12-20 ft. tall. Its glossy foliage, reddish in spring, dark-green later, is pinnately compound. Clusters of small, white flowers are followed by clusters of red, nut-like drupes on females. These become almost black on drying.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 20 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Native Distribution: S. TX & n.e. Mex.
Native Habitat: Limestone cliffs; ravine edges
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Well-drained, alkaline soil.
Conditions Comments: This uncommon, handsome evergreen is drought-resistant and grows well in full sunlight and merits planting as an ornamental in warm, dry climates. In spring the new dark red foliage is showy. Clusters of small, white flowers are followed by clusters of red, nut-like drupes on females. These become almost black on drying.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Fruits attract birds.
Use Food: Goats browse the leaves; however, the small seeds are often empty and unimportant as food for wildlife or people. Pistachio nuts are from the related Common Pistache (Pistacia vera), native of western Asia.
Deer Resistant: High
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
BibliographyBibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Pistacia mexicana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pistacia mexicana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pistacia mexicana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-05-25
Research By: TWC Staff