Terebinth - Encyclopedia




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TEREBINTH, botanical name Pistacia Terebinthus, a member of the natural order Anacardiaceae, usually a small tree common in the south of Europe and the whole Mediterranean area. It has a purplish grey bark and compound leaves with two to four pairs, and an odd terminal one, of smooth dark green oval blunt leaflets, which when young are thin, translucent and strongly tinged with reddish purple. The very small numerous unisexual flowers are borne on panicles which spring from just above the scars of last year's leaves. The fruit is a small roundish bright red drupe with a scanty pulp. The plant has been long known in English gardens. A liquid oleo-resinous exudation, known as Chian, Scio or Cyprus turpentine, is obtained by cutting the stem. The Chian turpentine of commerce is obtained exclusively from the island of Scio; the produce is very small, a large tree yielding only io or II ounces in one year. An allied species, P. Lentiscus, is the mastich tree.

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