Family: Anacardiaceae (Sumac Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Tree
Growing to 25 ft (8 m) in gardens, this deciduous species has glossy green leaves consisting of up to 10 pairs of leaflets that in fall (autumn) turn yellow, orange and scarlet. The inconspicuous flowers, borne in panicles, are followed in summer by small red spherical seed pods that turn blue in fall and attract birds.
Native Lookalikes: Currently no information available here yet, or there are no native Texas species that could be confused with Chinese pistache.
Ecological Threat: Chinese pistache has been seen invading natural areas in Central Texas (Hans Landel, pers. com.), including both ranchland and forested/riparian areas. It will replace native plants, thereby altering the habitat for native animals and plants.
Biology & Spread: Pistacia chinensis is a dioecious species and female trees do not produce large quantities of seeds until established in the landscape for fifteen or twenty years. But once mature, the female tree will produce large quantities of seeds, which are easily spread.
History: Chinese pistache is planted as an ornamental.
U.S. Habitat: Widely planted as an urban street tree. Also occurs on riversides and in cultivated areas.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: E. Asia and China
U.S. Present: AL, CA, TX
Distribution in Texas:
List All Observations of Pistacia chinensis reported by Citizen Scientists
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