Although previously placed in its own family Punicaceae, recent phylogenetic studies have shown that Punica belongs in the family Lythraceae, and it is classified in that family by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.
The name "pomegranate" comes from medieval Latin pōmum "apple" and grānātum "seeded".
The French term for pomegranate, grenade, has given its name to the military grenade.
Punica granatum, the scientific name of the pomegranate, was given by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753 in Species Plantarum (Vol. 1, page 472) Punica comes from the Latin name for the pomegranate, malum punicum, meaning "apple from Carthage", and granatum from medieval Latin meaning "seeded", "with seeds".
The pomegranate is a shrub or small tree that could grow up to 10 meters of height with many branches with spines. Leaves are opposite long and 2 cm (0.79 in) broad. The flowers are yellow to bright red and 3 cm (1.2 in) in diameter, with three to seven petals.
Fruits are berries with a strong skin, like leather, intermediate in size between a lemon and a grapefruit, 5–12 cm (2.0–4.7 in) in diameter. P. granatum var. nana is a dwarf variety of P. granatum popularly planted as an ornamental plant in gardens and larger containers, and used as a bonsai specimen tree.
Where it grows
The pomegranate originated in the region of modern-day Iran, and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and northern India. It was brought into America in the late 16th century, including California, by Spanish settlers.
Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, the drier parts of southeast Asia, and parts of the Mediterranean Basin. It is also cultivated in parts of Arizona and California.<ref name="crfg.org">
Interesting facts about Pomegranate
- Are you aware that pomegranates contain hundreds of seeds?
- Are you aware that the name pomegranate is derived from the Latin words meaning “apple of numerous seeds”?
- Are you aware that pomegranates are also called “Chinese Apples”?
- Are you aware that in ancient times the juice of the pomegranate was used as a dye and also as a medicine?
- Are you aware that years ago nomads took pomegranates with them into the desert because they were a thirst quencher and they lasted for months without drying out?
- Are you aware that pomegranates grow on small trees 12-16 feet tall?
- Are you aware that pomegranates are available from September thru December?
- Are you aware that pomegranates are the size of a large orange?
- Are you aware that pomegranates have a leathery, thick, smooth, reddish-pink skin?
- Are you aware that the inside of a pomegranate consists of clusters of seeds encased in bright cranberry-red pulp that are surrounded by bitter, white membranes ?
- Are you aware that the red pulp has a sweet and tart taste?
- Are you aware that you can eat the red pulp and the seeds of the pomegranate? (Some people eat the seed and pulp while others eat just the pulp and spit out the seed.)
- Are you aware that the pomegranate seeds are crunchy?
- Are you aware that pomegranates are very, very juicy?
- Are you aware that pomegranate juice can stain your clothes?
- Are you aware that pomegranate seeds make a beautiful garnish for fruit salads?
- Are you aware that grenadine is made from pomegranate juice? (Grenadine is used as a sauce for cooked fruit and is added to beverages.)
- Are you aware that pomegranate juice is a healthy beverage? (Be careful not to drink too much as it is very high in sugar and calories!)
- Are you aware that pomegranate juice is high in antioxidants which are believed to help prevent heart problems?
Bonsai of pomegranate
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Nutritional information on Pomegranate
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NB:Carbohydrate, by difference(total carbs-fiber) is also called net carbs