Punica granatum. Pomegranates—the fruit of fertility, forbidden desires and felicity—have been part of human history since people painted themselves red with its juice at the dawn of civilization. The photo at left (courtesy of John Thurm) shows a pomegranate tree in full ripeness at the Temple of Aphrodite in Cyprus. The genus name Punica is the old name for the ancient city of Carthage. According to Greek myth the first pomegranate tree was born in the blood of Side, the wife of Orion, who jumped off a cliff when she was tricked into thinking she had killed her children.
Today’s world has more prosaic concerns, such as the health benefits of the juice and seeds. Pomegranate juice has more than twice the amount of antioxidants found in grape juice, green tea or red wine and reduces hardening of the arteries. The alkaloids of the pomegranate have the unique ability to paralyze tapeworms and that’s enough about that topic. The bark in particular is biologically active and is antibacterial as well as antiviral.
Pomegranates are arching deciduous shrubs, about 15’ tall and equally wide in suitable climates. You can prune them into a tree if desired. They need hot summers for good fruit development and moderate winters for survival (to 15 degrees F). Winter chill requirements are low, less than 200 hours below 40 degrees F. A south or west wall helps the fruit ripen. Full sun, low water requirements, although regular and deep watering helps fruit development and reduces the number of thorns. Can take alkaline soil. Pomegranates are also resistant to honey fungus, good news for Northern California gardeners fighting this nasty soil-borne disease. Self-fertile, summer flowering on tips of current season’s growth. Fruit ripens in fall. Plants are about 18” tall in 1-gal containers. Expect flowering and fruit within a year. A truly eye-popping ornamental.
Shipping charges are 25% for orders to CA, 30% for orders to OR and WA, 45% for orders to AK, and 35% to rest of U.S. Sorry, no shipping to HI. We’re currently shipping for fall using FedEx Home Delivery. Orders received by Fridays at 5 pm will ship the following Monday and arrive at the latest the following Saturday.
Punica granatum 'Favorite.' Who knew pomegranates could survive in Russia? That's the birthplace of this cultivar, which has withstood temperatures down to 10 degrees (above F) in the U.S. Many orange-red blossoms produce light red fruit, smaller than 'Wonderful' but slightly sweeter. Grown in 1 gal containers, trees are about 3' tall, bushy, dormant as of January 2023.
Punica granatum 'Haku-Botan.' The frilly double flowers of this rare Japanese cultivar are white and appear throughout the spring and summer. 'Haku-Botan' offers something unique to the world of pomegranates--cool greenish white globes on a beautiful smaller shrub, about 10' tall and wide. Perfect for white gardens (maybe with snowberries and Madonna lilies growing under its branches). Fruit and juice are very tart. Plants are about 2.5' tall in 1 gal containers, going dormant as of November 2019. OUT OF STOCK.