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A genus of deciduous or evergreen trees of considerable economic importance in their native countries, but as a rule too tender to be of much garden value in this. Two species may be grown without protection in the open, viz., P. terebinthus and P. chinensis-, the latter, although still rare, appears to be especially well adapted for our climate. The leaves of Pistacia are either simple, trifoliolate or pinnate, and the pinnate leaves are either equally or unequally so. Flowers inconspicuous, and without petals; male and female flowers usually occur on separate trees. The fruit is a drupe, with a one-seeded stone. The nearest ally in gardens to this genus is Rhus, from which Pistacia differs in the absence of petals.
The two species mentioned above may be grown in the open ground, but for the rest it will be necessary to provide wall space. Any ordinary garden soil suffices for them.
This genus is now considered by some authorities to constitute a monotypic family – the Pistaciae – differing from Anacardiaceae in being dioecious, in having probably naked flowers (the supposed calyx being probably formed from bracteoles) and in the structure of the pollen-grains.