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PUNICA granatum

Image of Punica granatum

Felder Rushing

Family

Punicaceae

Botanical Name

PUNICA granatum

Plant Common Name

Pomegranate

General Description

Funky, oddly-shaped, thirst-quenching fruit and beautiful flowers define the pomegranate. This plant, long used by humans, is native to region from Iran to northern India including areas of the Himalayas. It is an evergreen large shrub to small tree. The leaves are held opposite each other on mostly spiny stems and are lance-shaped to oblong. Brilliantly hued blooms are produced at the ends of the branches singly or in clusters throughout the summer. Many orange-red, crinkled petals are held close together in a vase-shaped, fleshy, almost woody, fused group of outer petals. Fruits are round and flattened on the ends with prominent remains of the flower at the bottom and are yellow to pink to red. The fruit skin is hard and leathery surrounding many seeds which are coated in juicy, ruby-tinted sacs. There are many cultivars including dwarfs and those suited to either fruit production or ornamental use.

Pomegranates grow best in areas with cool winters and hot, dry summers. They are basically sub-topical plants but will take several hours of freezing temperatures. In the coldest areas, the plants are deciduous. A few cultivars are adapted for growth in the tropics, but fruit production is poor unless the winter is unusually cool. Where not hardy, grow in containers or greenhouses.

An easy to grow plant, this fruit or ornamental will tolerate most soils with ample drainage. They even tolerate rocky, poor locations and are salt tolerant. Full sun is best for good growth and flowering. Fertilize regularly with a balanced product and regular irrigation, when in growth, is necessary for flower production, though the plants are drought tolerant once established. The flowers are usually self-pollinating, often visited by insects and bloom on new wood. Prune just before growth starts in the spring. Use pomegranates in home orchards, massed together for hedges and boarders and in containers for interesting pool deck or patio specimens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4'-20' / 1.2m - 6.1m

  • Width

    3'-15' / 0.9m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Iran, India

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Orange, Orange Red

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Pink, Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Light Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single, Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Hedges, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No