Friday, July 16, 2010


Punica granatum
A rounded, small tree with a single trunk and a domed crown to 25 feet or sometimes larger. Records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 44 inches; 20 years - 20 x 13 feet; largest on record - 50 x 27 feet with a trunk diameter of up to 1.3 feet. It is native to northern Africa, the Mediterranean and Iran to Afghanistan. Additional populations in Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan are threatened but hold promise for cultivation of Pomegranate in colder continental climates worldwide. The Pomegranate can live up to 200 or more years.
The smooth foliage is reddish during spring, turning to glossy bright green during summer then to brilliant yellow during autumn. The broad lance-shaped to oblong, oppositely-arranged leaves are up to 4 x 1 inches in size. The foliage is late to appear during spring.
The bright scarlet-red, funnel-shaped flowers are either single or in small clusters and are borne from late spring through late summer. They are up to 2 inches wide with 5 to 8 petals and many stamens.
The somewhat rounded fruits up to 4 inches, are orange red on the outside and are have jelly like deep red pulp inside along with many seeds. Up to 250 fruits can be borne on a tree in a single year. Among the worlds healthiest foods, the Pomegranate is considered to have anti cancerous properties. It should be a part of anyones regular diet. The Pomegranate is now cultivated in California and Arizona for juice production
Lateral shoots may have short hard thorns.
Hardy zones 7 to 11 and is hardy as far north as Maryland in the eastern U.S.
The Pomegranate is less hardy in regions with cool summers where the wood doesn't ripen. In cooler climates it can be trained onto a south facing wall. The Pomegranates need hot dry summers to ripen the fruits and can tolerate very high temperatures even with low humidity. They prefer full sun to partial shade and deep, light, well drained soil. Late spring frosts can cause severe damage in some regions. Root rot can occur on soil that is too wet, however other insect or disease problems are rare. Extremely drought tolerant. To maintain a dense habit, it is recommended to prune current years growth in late winter. Propagation can be either from hardened cuttings during early winter, half hardened or soft tip cuttings from spring to late summer or seed sown in spring. The seed should be soaked in water for 24 hours before sowing. No special treatment or stratification is needed.

More on the Pomegranate

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos of unknown internet source

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* historic archive photo

* photos taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.

* videos found on internet

'Alba Plena'
Creamy white, double flowers

'Angel Red'
A large shrub or small tree, reaching up to 18 feet.
The large scarlet-red fruits are very tasty. The fruit ripen a half month earlier than most cultivars which they can be planted with for a longer season.
Hardy zones 8 to 9.

* photo taken on Apr 27 2015 in Elkridge, MD

* photos taken on May 30 2016 in Annapolis, MD

Reaching up to 3.3 x 3.3 feet in 10 years and eventually 10 feet with large, double, scarlet red flowers over a long season. No fruits.

'Eight Ball'
Reaches up to 8 feet in height with fruits that are black.
Tolerates as low as -10 F with no damage.

Originating in southern Russia is the hardiest variety.

A large shrub, bearing salmon-pink, double flowers.

Dwarf, dense and compact to 3.3 x 3.3 feet in 10 years and an eventually 6 feet or very rarely 8 x 6 feet. Makes an excellent tub plant or small hedge.
The small, linear to narrowly lance-shaped leaves are extremely glossy deep green.
The intense bright orange, double flowers are up to 2 inches wide.
They are followed by red fruits, up to 1 inch long.
Considered somewhat more hardy than average for the species.

* photo taken on Apr 27 2017 in Elkridge, MD

* photos taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.

'Nana Plena'
Similar to 'Nana' but with double flowers and no fruit.

'Nochi Shibari'
Reaching up to 10 x 10 feet with double orange ( tipped in white ) flowers and no fruit. The foliage is very glossy.

'Purple Sunset'
Similar to 'Nana' but more upright, reaching up to 4 x 4 feet. It makes a beautiful low hedge or patio planter specimen.
The narrow lance-shaped leaves are up to 1.5 inches in length. The foliage is reddish-green at first, turning to glossy deep green. In fall the foliage turns to deep yellow. The leaves are borne on purplish-red stems. The orange flowers, up to 1.5 inches, are followed by glossy blackish-purple fruits, up to 1 inch in length.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.

'State Fair'
Reaches up to 5 feet, with very profuse, bright orange flowers followed by abundant red fruits.
Tolerates as low as -10 F.

up to 15 x 15 feet with double, bright orange flowers and wine tasting, red fruits. This is one of the best varieties for fruiting.

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