Anacardiaceae (cashew family) Pistacia

Pistacia atlantica Atlas pistache

North Africa

Unlike the popular Chinese pistache, which is noted for its fall color, the African species is less showy and can even be semievergreen in protected locations. It is not known to be represented in the academic area but several male and a female tree may be seen at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, where it is evidently weedy. On the Preserve, its somewhat blueish, pinnately-compound, alternate leaves distinguish it from native trees and shrubs. According to Sunset Western Garden Book, it isn’t common as an ornamental but is widely used as understock for pistachio nut.

Illustrations: Jasper Ridge photos.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings subsequently extended the note on Jasper Ridge.