Betoum (Pistacia atlantica)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Betoum
Pistacia atlantica
Pistaciaceae

Used as a rootstock for P. vera, the pistachio nut[183].

A resin is obtained from the tree[117]. No more details.

A gum is obtained from the tree. It is used medicinally[93]. It is possible that the gum and the resin are the same thing[K].

Tannin is obtained from galls that develop on the tree as a result of a fungus. It is used to make an ink and a dye[61].

The leaves contain 22.2% tannin[223].

The wood is useful[46].

  • Medicinal Use

    Antiseptic[93].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw[61, 177]. A turpentine flavour[183]. The fruit is about 8mm long and 6mm wide and contains a single seed[200].

    An excellent edible oil is obtained from the seed[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Pre-soak the seed for 16 hours in alkalized water[78], or for 3 – 4 days in warm water[1], and sow late winter in a cold frame or greenhouse[78, 113]. Two months cold stratification may speed up germination, so it might be better to sow the seed in early winter[113]. The germination is variable and can be slow. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on the plants for at least their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in early summer and consider giving some protection from winter cold for their first year or two outdoors[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood from juvenile trees, July in a frame[113]. Layering.
Requires a sunny position in a deep well-drained light soil[200]. Succeeds in dry soils. This species is not very cold-hardy in Britain[1], though it can succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country. This plant is sometimes grown near P. vera, the pistachio, as a pollinator[183]. Any pruning that needs to be done is best carried out in the spring[238]. Plants are prone to fungal root rots[200]. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
S. Europe to N. Africa.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.