Species list


Pistacia terebinthus


Terebinth, turpentine tree (Eng), terebinto, cornicabra (Spa), noguereta, noguerola (Cat), ahunt-zadarra (Baq), escornacabra (gall,); cornalheira (Por).


“The south is covered by various species of terebinth that produce a very important resin, mastic, which is greatly used in the arts and even in medicine”.

‘Archipelago on fire’, Jules Verne


This is a branching shrub that attains the form of small tree about 5 m tall, although specimens are known that have reached a height of 10 m. Its bark is greyish or brown and cracks with age. Its leaves are deciduous and compound, made up of 5 or 7 oval leaflets whose margin is entire and which have a reddish or pink stalk. There are male and female trees, both of which bear flowers that are not showy and have no petals. The ripe fruits are pea-sized, dry, and oval. They appear in large groups which acquire a very eye-catching pink colour when they ripen.


This plant is found in Mediterranean forests accompanying holm oaks, cork oaks, olive trees, and pines. On the Iberian Peninsula it only occasionally occurs as stands, which tend to be open, while in the eastern Mediterranean it forms true forests. It colonises rocky areas and is sometimes seen growing in crevices, walls and even on old buildings. This species is indifferent to soil type and is found from sea level up to altitudes of 1500 m.


The terebinth is native to the Mediterranean basin, with some Eurosiberian enclaves located in northwestern Spain, but it does best in the Greek islands, Syria and Palestine. It extends over almost the entire Iberian Peninsula, including the particularly significant Cornetales de la Sierra Mágina, Jaén.