Skip to main content

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

Pomegranate fruits

The pomegranate, Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.

Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as well as the Himalayas in Northern India.[1] Today, it is widely cultivated throughout Iran, Syria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, China, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, the drier parts of southeast Asia, the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, and tropical Africa. Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona for juice production.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February. In the Southern Hemisphere, the pomegranate is in season from March to May.

The pomegranate has been mentioned in many ancient texts, notably the Quran, Homeric Hymns and the Book of Exodus, and is valued by many cultures for its beauty. It has, in recent years, reached mainstream prominence in the commercial markets of North America and the Western Hemisphere.

Description

The Punica granatum leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, glossy, narrow oblong, entire, 3–7 cm long and 2 cm broad. The flowers are bright red, 3 cm in diameter, with four to five petals (often more on cultivated plants). Some fruitless varieties are grown for the flowers alone. The edible fruitis a berry and is between a lemon and a grapefruit in size, 5–12 cm in diameter with a rounded hexagonal shape, and has thick reddish skin. The exact number of seeds in a pomegranate can vary from 200 to about 1400 seeds, contrary to some beliefs that all pomegranates have exactly the same number of seeds. Each seed has a surrounding water-laden pulp—the edible aril—ranging in color from white to deep red or purple. The seeds are embedded in a white, spongy, astringent pulp.

Cultivation

punica granatum is grown as a fruit crop plant, and as ornamental trees and shrubs in parks andgardens. Mature specimens can develop sculptural twisted bark multi-trunks and a distinctive overall form. Pomegranates are drought-tolerant, and can be grown in dry areas with either a Mediterranean winter rainfall climate or in summer rainfall climates. In wetter areas, they can be prone to root decay from fungal diseases. They are tolerant of moderate frost, down to about −10 °C (14 °F). Insect pests of the pomegranate can include the pomegranate butterfly Virachola isocrates and the leaf-footed bug Leptoglossus zonatus. Pomegranate grows easily from seed, but is commonly propagated from 25–50 cm hardwood cuttings to avoid the genetic variation of seedlings. Air layering is also an option for propagation, but grafting fails.

0
Your rating: None

Nice

Nice

Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.