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Common Name:

Chinese Pistachio

Scientific Name:

Pistachia chinensis

Family Name:



Chinese Pistachio is a medium size deciduous tree suitable for use in all but the coldest portions of the Panhandle. It develops a spreading apple-tree or white oak-like growth habit. The medium textured dark green foliage turns yellow, orange, red, or maroon in autumn and is one of our most reliable trees for fall color in the southern two-thirds of Texas. Red to blue-black fruit are features of female trees, but seedlings can be invasive in some areas of Texas.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree



Flower Color:

Pruple-green to red-green, not particularly ornamental.

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Panicles of red to blue-black drupes, eaten by birds, effective on female trees from late summer to fall.


30 ft to 40 ft


40 ft to 50 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Highly adaptable, to the point of invasiveness in some locales; tends to be slow to establish in the landscape requiring three to five years before putting on vigorous growth, bit of an ugly duckling.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.