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Products > Pistacia lentiscus
Pistacia lentiscus - Mastic
Working on getting this plant out in the field but it is not yet available listing for information only! 

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Anacardiaceae (Sumacs, Cashew)
Origin: Mediterranean (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Spring
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Pistacia lentiscus (Mastic) An attractive large evergreen mounding shrub to 8+ feet tall by 10 to 15 feet wide or trained up as small tree to 15 feet tall or more. The aromatic compound leaves are alternately arranged that mature leathery and dark green they are paripinnate, with no terminal leaflet, and have five or six paired leaflets off of a winged central rachis. The very small green flowers are dioecious. Our plants are male with five stamens but females plants produce a small drupe, which is at first red and age to black when ripe. Plant in full sun in most any soil and water infrequently (to not at all) but tolerates fairly regular irrigation as well. It his hardy to around 18 F and tolerant of saline coastal conditions. This is a great large dense shrub or small tree with a nice resinous aroma that tolerates pruning and shaping and can used as a hedge or trained up as a small tree. This plant is a component of the maquis, the equivalent plant community in the Mediterranean region to our native chaparral. It is native to dry and rocky areas from Morocco and Iberian peninsula in the west through southern France and Turkey to Iraq, Iran and Israel in the east and also grows in the Canary Islands. It has been introduced as an ornamental shrub in semiarid areas of Mexico, where it is now naturalized and is becoming more common in the hot inland south western US. The name for the genus comes from the Greek word for the Pistachio nut and the specific epithet is from the Latin word for the Mastic Tree. The word "mastic" derives from the Greek verb mastichein meaning to "to gnash the teeth" and it the origin of the English word masticate. Mastic Gum was used in ancient times to keep the breath sweet and also for medicinal purposes and as a varnish. Our thanks go out to Isabelle Greene who first gave us seed of this amazing plant in the 1980s. Though we did not attempt to propagate until 30 years later, the plant from this seed is an amazing large specimen in our demonstration garden.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Pistacia lentiscus.