Pistacia lentiscus L.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Pistacia lentiscus' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/pistacia/pistacia-lentiscus/). Accessed 2019-12-10.

Genus

Common Names

  • Mastic

Glossary

axillary
Situated in an axil.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
hybrid
Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).
maquis
Tall Mediterranean drought-resistant shrubland.
imparipinnate
Odd-pinnate; (of a compound leaf) with a central rachis and an uneven number of leaflets due to the presence of a terminal leaflet. (Cf. paripinnate.)

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Pistacia lentiscus' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/pistacia/pistacia-lentiscus/). Accessed 2019-12-10.

An evergreen bush or small tree, occasionally 15 or 20 ft high; young shoots warted, not downy. The leaves are evenly pinnate, consisting of four to ten leaflets without a terminal odd one; the common stalk is winged. Leaflets 34 to 112 in. long, 14 to 12 in. wide; narrowly oblong to obovate, glabrous, with a very short, abrupt point. Flowers very densely packed in short axillary panicles 1 to 2 in. long. Fruits first red, then black, about the size of large peppercorns.

P. lentiscus is one of the most characteristic members of the Mediterranean macchie (maquis), and is found wherever this occurs, both within the Mediterreanean basin and in Portugal and Atlantic Morocco; also in the Canaries. It was in cultivation by the second half of the 17th century as a pot- or tub-plant, placed outside in summer and overwintered under glass with the oranges and myrtles (Evelyn’s Calendar, under March). It is tender and needs the protection of a wall.

In the islands of the Greek Archipelago it produces by incision of the bark a resinous substance known as ‘mastic’, which is used locally for flavouring raki and is chewed to sweeten the breath. It is also used medicinally and as an ingredient in tooth-powder. The gum mastic tree of Chios is a cultivated race, sometimes distinguished as var. chia Duham.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

† P. × saportae Burnat – A natural hybrid between P. lentiscus and P. terebinthus, occurring occasionally where the two species are in contact, originally described from Provence.


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