Virginia Tech Dendrology

Chinese pistache Anacardiaceae Pistacia chinensis Bunge Listen to the Latin symbol: PICH4
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 10 to 12 inches long, 10 to 12 lanceolate to narrow ovate leaflets, entire margins, tapering pointed tips, shiny green above, paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; red to green, males in tight 2 to 3 inch long clusters along last years stem, females in loser, longer groups, somewhat showy since they appear before the leaves in early spring.
Fruit: Bright red (later turning dark blue), round drupe, 1/2 inch in diameter, in long grape like cluster that ripen in early fall.
Twig: Stout, gray-brown, numerous lighter lenticels, terminal buds large and ovate with obvious large scales; large shield-shaped, raised leaf scars.
Bark: Gray-brown with shallow reddish brown furrows, later forming rectangular to almost square flat-topped ridges.
Form: Small tree reaching up to 40 feet tall with a nearly equal spread.
Looks like: peppertree - Brazilian peppertree - prairie sumac - soapberry
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Pistacia chinensis is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting Chinese pistache.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson