This is a small to medium-sized member of the cashew family, native to central and western China. The tree’s canopy can reach 40-50 feet in height and 30 feet in width and has alternate 8 to 10 inch long leaves, each with 10 or 12 leaflets.
The Chinese Pistache requires sun to flourish, but otherwise tolerates harsh conditions and poor quality soils. It is dioecious which means that it has separate male and female plants with the female tree producing flowers in 6 to 8 inch long panicles (loose, branching cluster of flowers) at the ends of its branches. Its fruits are small red drupes (fleshy fruits with thin skins) which turn blue when ripe and contain a single seed.
The Chinese Pistache is considered a real asset because of its easy growth, attractive fruit and impressive bright multicolored fall foliage.