Deciduous, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries
This small, showy tree from Iran and northern India has naturalized throughout the Mediterranean. It grows to 15–20 ft. tall and wide, though it is often kept pruned to half that size. Showy red flowers appear at branch tips in spring and develop into roundish, 5-in.-wide fruits that ripen in fall. Self-fruitful. Resistant to oak root fungus. For ornamental pomegranate varieties, see Punica granatum.
Each fruit contains hundreds of sacs of seedy, sweet-tart, juicy pulp. Harvest fruit when they reach full color. Fruit left on the tree is likely to split and rot, especially if weather is rainy. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 months. To eat fresh, cut into quarters or eighths and pull rind back (starting from the ends) to expose the juicy sacs; eat them, seeds and all. To remove juice for drinking fresh or for use in jams, jellies, or sauces, cut fruit in half and ream with a juicer. Or roll fruit firmly on hard surface; then cut a hole in stem end and squeeze juice into a container.
In Zones 5, 6, and 17, where pomegranate grows and blooms but may not fruit, locate against a south or west wall. Tolerates a wide variety of soils. Can take drought but produces better fruit with regular moisture.
The best-known variety is ‘Wonderful’, with orange-red flowers and burnished red fruit with red pulp. Other varieties are available, including the following (all have red or orange-red flowers unless noted otherwise).
‘Ambrosia’. Bears huge fruit (up to three times larger than those of ‘Wonderful’) with pale pink skin and purple pulp.
‘Angel Red’. Ripens early and produces lots of extra-juicy, red-skinned fruit with soft seeds.
‘Eversweet’. Ripens very early and bears virtually seedless fruit with transparent red pulp and clear, nonstaining juice.
‘Granada’. Bears pink flowers and fruit with pink pulp.
‘Kashmir’. Pinkish red fruit have red seeds with intense flavor that’s great for juice.
‘Pink Satin’. Pinkish red fruit have light pink, soft seeds whose juice is nonstaining.
‘Red Silk’. Produces medium to large red fruit with excellent sweet-tart, red pulp on a 6–8-ft. tree, ideal for containers.
‘Sweet’. Bears yellow flowers and fruit with pink pulp.
‘White’. Produces pink fruit with sweet, transparent pulp.
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