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Pistacia Lentiscus or Mastic Tree is a large evergreen shrub with aromatic foliage and small flowers followed by tiny red fruits on female specimens. It’s a hardy addition to wildlife-friendly spaces and coastal gardens.
Pistacia Lentiscus is native to the Mediterranean and commonly seen in Spain, Portugal, Greece, France and Turkey where it grows in hedgerows and scrublands. It’s related to the pistachio family and is better known as the Mastic Tree for its mastic containing sap that’s used in medical settings. This hardy evergreen has grown in the UK since 1656 and has certainly proved its worth across the centuries.
The mastic tree has small green pinnate leaves with 8-10 glossy green leaflets on grey stems that are red when they’re young. Its foliage is evergreen and creates a colourful backdrop for the inconspicuous green May flowers which ripen to small bright red fruits in late summer.
This evergreen is a good choice for poor soils and tough conditions because it tolerates full sun, drought and coastal sprays.
Height And Spread of Pistacia Lentiscus Pistacia Lentiscus is a large shrub but can also be grown as a small tree that can reach 4-8 metres in height and spread.
How Hardy Is Pistacia Lentiscus This is a hardy shrub or tree if its roots are well-drained. It thrives in full sun and copes with coastal sprays. Pests are not usually a problem.
How To Use Pistacia Lentiscus Mastic Tree is grown for its scented and attractive foliage rather than the fairly insignificant flowers and berries that are found on female trees. It thrives in coastal areas and is tough enough to cope with salt-laden sprays. It suits a large space and it’s a good choice where the soil is poor. Low maintenance spaces and wildlife gardens benefit from its easy-going nature, evergreen foliage and red berries.
How To Care For Pistacia Lentiscus If you can plant Pistacia Lentiscus in a well-drained spot with full sun it will need barely any attention. It suits the majority of soil types and once established needs little irrigation. Pruning is not necessary but you can cut out any wayward branches after the berries have fallen.