(Pistacia Terebinthus)
Pistacia Terebinthus


A deciduous shrub with compound shiny leaves with a strong resinous smell. Leaves of 4-5 pairs of leaflets and, unlike the similar Pistacia Lentiscus, a terminal leaflet. Flowers, which appear between March and April, in close compound clusters, reddish-purple in colour growing from end of previous years shoot. Fruit small, globular nutlets which are brown when ripe.


In Cyprus the Terebinth is found growing on dry rocky slopes and hillsides or in pine forests, particularly in the Troodos and Kyrenia ranges, from just above sea level to 4,000 ft.

Uses and Properties

The fruits are used in the baking of a speciality village bread. The plant is rich in tannin and resinous substances and has been known for its aromatic and medicinal properties since classical times, Theophrastos described the resin as having excellent fragrant and setting qualities. A mild sweet scented gum can be produced from the reddish bark and the large reddish horn-like galls often found on the plant are used for tanning leather. Terebinths are traditionally planted over Armenian graves.