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Pistachio (Pistacia vera)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Pistacia vera

The seed yields up to 40% of a non-drying oil. It is not used commercially due to the high value of the seed for food[183].

Male trees yield a small quantity of a high grade resin. It is used in paints, lacquers etc[74].

  • Medicinal Use

    The plant is used in China for the treatment of abdominal ailments, abscesses, amenorrhoea, bruises, chest ailments, circulation, dysentery, gynecopathy, pruritus, rheumatism, sclerosis of the liver, sores and trauma[218].

    The seed is said to be sedative and tonic[240].

  • Edible Use

    Seed – raw or cooked[2, 46, 61, 74]. The seed is rich in oil and has a pleasant mild flavour[2]. It is very nice when eaten raw and is also widely used in confectionery, ice cream, cakes, pies etc[183].

    An edible oil is obtained from the seed but is not produced commercially due to the high price of the seed[183].

    The fruits can be made into a flavourful marmalade[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. Does well in light calcareous soils[200]. Grows well on poor soils[200]. Prefers long hot summers and low humidity[200]. Plants are not very hardy in Britain and are unlikely to succeed outdoors in any but the mildest areas of the country. They will be hardier in areas with long hot summers that will thoroughly ripen the wood. Plants are prone to fungal root rots[200]. The pistachio nut is often cultivated for its edible seed in warm temperate areas, there are many named forms[183]. It is very unlikely to produce a crop of seeds in Britain, simply because the summers here are not hot enough or long enough[K]. Any pruning that needs to be done is best carried out in the spring[238]. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. One male plant for every five females is adequate[200].
W. Asia.

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.