The pistachio , a member of the cashew family, is a small tree originating from Iran (Persia). The tree produces seeds that are widely consumed as food.

The tree grows up to 10 metres (33 feet) tall. It has deciduouspinnate leaves 10–20 centimetres (4–8 inches) long. The plants are dioecious, with separate male and female trees. The flowers are apetalous and unisexual and borne in panicles.

Torbat-e Heydarieh, Razavi Khorasan, Iran

The fruit is a drupe, containing an elongated seed, which is the edible portion. The seed, commonly thought of as a nut, is a culinary nut, not a botanical nut. The fruit has a hard, cream-colored exterior shell. The seed has a mauve-colored skin and light green flesh, with a distinctive flavor. When the fruit ripens, the shell changes from green to an autumnal yellow/red and abruptly splits partly open. This is known as dehiscence, and happens with an audible pop. The splitting open is a trait that has been selected by humans. Commercial cultivars vary in how consistently they split open.