Latin name: Pistacia atlantica
Medicinal use of Betoum:Antiseptic.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Dry hillsides, cemeteries, field edges and roadsides from sea level to 1500 metres in Turkey.
Edible parts of Betoum:Fruit - raw. A turpentine flavour. The fruit is about 8mm long and 6mm wide and contains a single seed. An excellent edible oil is obtained from the seed.
Other uses of the herb:Used as a rootstock for P. vera, the pistachio nut. A resin is obtained from the tree. No more details. A gum is obtained from the tree. It is used medicinally. It is possible that the gum and the resin are the same thing. 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. The leaves contain 22.2% tannin. The wood is useful.
Propagation of Betoum:Pre-soak the seed for 16 hours in alkalized water, or for 3 - 4 days in warm water, and sow late winter in a cold frame or greenhouse. Two months cold stratification may speed up germination, so it might be better to sow the seed in early winter. 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood from juvenile trees, July in a frame. Layering.
Cultivation of the herb:Dry hillsides, cemeteries, field edges and roadsides from sea level to 1500 metres in Turkey.
Known hazards of Pistacia atlantica:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.