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Pistache nut


Anacardiaceae: Pistacia vera L.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

The pistache tree is small, up to 30 feet, and spreading. Leaves are compound-pinnate, hairy when young, later glabrous. The fruit is ovoid to oblong in shape, an inch or less long. It has an external, fleshy hull which loosens from the nut at maturity, but must be removed either by hand or mechanically. The nut has a thin, woody shell, which often partially splits when ripe. The kernel is small and smooth, rich flavored and green in internal color. Most of the nuts used in the U.S. are imported from Mediterranean countries.

Season, bloom to maturity: About 5 months.

Production in the U.S.: No data, but limited. 1,017 trees reported 1950 census.

Use: Mainly for flavoring and coloring confections and ice cream. Some direct eating.

Part of Plant consumed: Internal kernel only.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch