Latin name: Pistacia vera
Medicinal use of Pistachio: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. The seed is said to be sedative and tonic.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Hilly and mountainous regions, especially on sandstone soils, with a temperature range from -10°C in the winter to 40°C in the summer, to 1500 metres
Edible parts of Pistachio:Seed - raw or cooked. The seed is rich in oil and has a pleasant mild flavour. It is very nice when eaten raw and is also widely used in confectionery, ice cream, cakes, pies etc. An edible oil is obtained from the seed but is not produced commercially due to the high price of the seed. The fruits can be made into a flavourful marmalade.
Other uses of the herb: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. Male trees yield a small quantity of a high grade resin. It is used in paints, lacquers etc.
Propagation of Pistachio: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:Hilly and mountainous regions, especially on sandstone soils, with a temperature range from -10°C in the winter to 40°C in the summer, to 1500 metres
Known hazards of Pistacia vera:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.