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Common Name:

Texas Pistachio

Scientific Name:

Pistacia mexicana (Pistacia texana)

Family Name:



Texas Pistachio is a small semi-evergreen tree or large shrub. The fine textured foliage is attractive and is supplemented in autumn on female plants by red to blue-black fruit in small panicles. Uncommon, but worthy of greater use in the southern two-thirds of Texas. Can be sheared into an effective hedge or limbed up as a small tree.

Plant Habit or Use:

Large shrub, small tree, topiary



Flower Color:

Yellow-green, not ornamental, females inconspicuous, males in catkins

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Small red to blue-black drupes on female trees


15 ft to 20 ft, national champion is 39 ft


10 ft to 15 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:

8, 9, 10, 11

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:

Texas Pistachio is very drought and heat tolerant; avoid poorly drained soils; more cold hardy in West Texas where fall acclimation conditions are more favorable.
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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.