Mastic Tree, Lentisk or Pistacia lentiscus is a Mediterranean plant ‘usually seen as a low evergreen bush, particularly common in maquis. When left uncut and ungrazed it can reach tree size. The whole plant smells acrid and resinous. An incision on the bark brings a flow of the mastic resin, which is collected when it has dried. The resin has been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes, as a varnish, and as chewing gum to clean the teeth and freshen the breath. The Aegean island of Chios has long been famed as a producer of mastic resin,’ (Vedel, 1978, p.80).

Other names | lentisco (Italian).


Trees and shrubs of the Mediterranean by Helge Vedel, translated from the Danish by Aubrey Rush (Penguin Guides, 1978).