pistachio

pistachio (pĭstăshˈēō, pĭstäˈshēō) [key], tree or shrub (of the genus Pistacia ) of the family Anacardiaceae (sumac family). The species that yields the pistachio nut of commerce is P. vera, native to SW Asia. It is now cultivated on a small scale in parts of the SW United States and in many of the warmer parts of Europe and Asia; the trade supply comes largely from Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Italy, and Sicily. The "nut," a greenish seed, is eaten salted and is used in making confections. In Syria and some other countries it is more widely used and is traditional at weddings and on other occasions. A flavoring oil is derived from the nuts. Related species include the terebinth, or turpentine tree; the Chinese pistachio, P. chinensis, grown in Florida and California both for ornament and as grafting stock for P. vera; and the mastic ( P. lentiscus ). Pistachio is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Anacardiaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on pistachio from Fact Monster:

  • Gaziantep - Gaziantep Gaziantep , formerly Aintab, city (1990 pop. 627,584), capital of Gaziantep prov., S ...
  • Alamogordo - Alamogordo Alamogordo , city (1990 pop. 27,596), seat of Otero co., S N.Mex., near the Sacramento ...
  • The Master of Disguise - Starring Dana Carvey, Jennifer Esposito, Mark Devine, Bo Derek, Jesse Ventura
  • sumac - sumac sumac or sumach, common name for some members of the Anacardiaceae, a family of trees and ...
  • Aegina, island, Greece - Aegina Aegina or Aíyina, island (1991 pop. 12,430), 32 sq mi (83 sq km), off SE Greece, in ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants