The WALA Plant Library
Mastic tree

Synonyms for Mastic tree: Lentisk tree
Scientific Name: Pistacia lentiscus
Family: Anacardiaceae (Cashew family)


What kind of shrub is this? Some bushes have red flowers, others have yellow ones can't it make up its mind? The source of the confusion is a characteristic feature of all dioecious plants, of which the mastic tree is one: the male and female parts 'live apart'. The male mastic plants carry the deep red anthers in their red flowers while the yellow flowers of the female plants contain the pollen receiving pistils. The evergreen, much branched shrub, which grows to a height of three to six metres, is densely covered with dark green, shiny, pointed leaves amongst which clusters of small flowers appear from March to June. On the female plant these grow into the fruits, which turn from red to black as they ripen. Abundant resin ducts beneath the older grey bark contain a valuable product: mastic resin.