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Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

Pistacia atlantica

Pistacia atlantica

A nod of appreciation to Amir A. from Israel for once again sharing a photograph! Thank you!

With a name like Pistacia, you might make a mental association with pistachio. You wouldn't be far off, botanically speaking. The pistachio of commerce is Pistacia vera, a close relative of this species. As mentioned in the Plants for a Future database, however, the fruit of Pistacia atlantica is not eaten directly – it has the flavour of turpentine.

This property is reflected in one of its many common names, the turpentine tree. Other English common names include terebinth, Mount Atlas pistache, Atlas pistachio and Mount Atlas mastic tree.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has a database of economically important grassland species from around the world. It includes an interesting entry on Pistacia atlantica, with some of the information derived from a traditional Bedouin doctor.

3 Comments

Is it just my imagination, or is that coming straight out of the side of a rocky wall? Cool picture. Just visited the Phoenix area for Christmas and ventured over to the Boyce Thompson Southwest Arboretum near Superior for an afternoon -- they have nice specimens of Pistacia Atlantica along with their renowned Pistacia Chinensis.....

Really a great picture. It looks like a painting. Colors, textures… and it has something strange in it. I can feel the dry coming from this place…

The beauty of nature unfolds even in the most mishapen places.

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