Pistacia integerrima

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Local names:
Hindi (kakroi,kakring,kakra,kakkar,kakar singhi)

Pistacia integerrima is a multi-branched, single stemmed, deciduous tree, up to 25 m tall. The tree has low/dense crown base and roots deeply.

Leaves large, up to 25 cm long, pinnate (frequently paripinnate) leaves bearing 2-6 pairs of lanceolate, long leaflets. The terminal leaflet is much smaller than the lateral ones or even reduced to a mucro.

Inflorescence red.

The fruits are globular, apiculate, 5-6 mm in diameter, purplish or blue at maturity and with a bony endocarp.

The name of Pistacia derives from the Persian name ‘pisteh’ or ‘pesteh’. Classification within the genus Pistacia has been based on leaf morphology and geographical distribution.


P. integerrima is mainly Asiatic and shows a preference for dry slopes with shallow soils. The tree does not tolerate fire and is strongly susceptible to acidic soils. However it is wind firm, termite resistant, frost hardy and moderately drought resistant.

Native range

Tree management

Management by pruning, lopping, and pollarding improves the tree form factor of P. integerrima. The tree should be protected from browsers P. integerrima seedlings are susceptible to strongly alkaline soils. This is a light demanding species. A nursery time of 12-18 months is recommended.

Rhizoctonia solani is controlled in the nursery by the addition of pentachloronitrobenzene [quintozene] in planting medium and by maintaining clean greenhouse benches.

Best results are found with the 2 cm sowing depth and with seeds treated with concentrated sulfuric acid for 20 min. The seeds have a germination rate of 30%. There are 8 000 to 19 000 seeds /kg. A pretreatment of soaking in water for 24 hours improves germination.

P. integerrima is mainly Asiatic and shows a preference for dry slopes with shallow soils. The tree does not tolerate fire and is strongly susceptible to acidic soils. However it is wind firm, termite resistant, frost hardy and moderately drought resistant.

Wildlings, direct seed sowing and use of stumps are used to propagate the tree. In experimental trials, P. integerrima proliferated well in a modified MS medium with 1 mg benzyladenine (BA)/litre. The best rooting in P. integerrima was obtained by rooting microcuttings in vivo after application of IBA.

P. integerrima can be used in wasteland afforestation programmes.

Erosion control:  Important in river bank stabilization and soil conservation.

Shoots and leaves used as medium quality fodder.

Fuelwood and charcoal are obtained from P. integerrima.

Timber:  Timber used in house construction, carving, furniture manufacture, farm implements, musical instruments and thatch. The timber can also be used in veneer and plywood manufacture.

Shade or shelter:  P. integerrima provides considerable shade.

Tannin or dyestuff:  Dyestuff obtained from insect galls, bark and leaves.

Medicine:  P. integgerima galls are used in traditional medicine to treat coughs, asthma, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, vomiting, appetite loss, nose bleeding, snake bites and scorpion stings. The plant extracts are used in treating livestock diseases.

Ornamental:  Grown as an ornamental, much appreciated for its crimson leaf colour in the fall.

Soil improver:  P. integerrrima is used for improved fallows and the leaves are used as green manure.

Intercropping:  P. integerrima is a multipurpose tree of agroforestry interest.

Essential oil:  The essential oil obtained by steam-distillation of Kakra Singi, the indigenous drug prepared from P. integerrima contains: alpha -pinene (25%.), camphene (27%.), di-limonene (4-5%), 1:8-cineol (10%.), alpha -terpineol (20%.), and aromaden

Pollution control:  In India the tree is used in water purification.