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The pomegranate




If you would like to submit a request for plant material, please visit our Products & Services page.


*Summer request for punica germplasm should only be made if propagation will occur under mist. 

The Punicaceae family consists of a single genus with two species of shrubs and small trees. Punica protopunica is a species native to the island of Socotra, adjoining the Arabian Peninsula. Wild Punica granatum, the cultivated pomegranate,grows in a broad area from the Balkans to the Himalayas.  The pomegranate has played a significant role in the mythology and traditions of the Middle East, were it is a symbol of fertility, wealth and prosperity along with the grape and fig. The fruits grow on bushes or trees that can reach a height of 26ft. The skin of the fruit is thick and leathery, which keeps the fruit juicy for a long period of time. It is the arils, surrounding the seeds, underneath this skin which are edible. Pomegranates are eaten fresh or pressed for juice.  The juice is consumed directly, processed into grenadine and is used in recipes such as the Persian chicken dish known as fessenjan.  The juice and skins of the pomegranate also produce stains which are practically impossible to remove, making them a popular dye.  Pomegranate accessions vary greatly in juice sweetness, acidity, color and the hardness of seeds. There is considerable new interest in pomegranates since they contain extraordinarily high levels of anti-oxidants.


Use GRIN Global to search for more information on Punica and the accessions in the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS).


Questions about our pomegranate collection can be directed to Jeff Moersfelder


Links to non-federal pomegranate related sites:


Purdue Hort. Department

California Rare Fruit Growers

Desert Tropicals


Some information for this page was obtained from: The Complete Book of Fruits. D. Pijpers, J.G. Constant, and K. Jansen. Gallery Books, New York. 1985.

The Origins of fruit & Vegetables. J. Roberts.  Universe Publishing, New York.  2001.

Flowering Plants of the World.  V.H. Heywood.  OxfordUniversity Press, New York. 1993.


Crop Pages

Actinidia(kiwifruit)   Diospyros(persimmon)   Ficus(fig)    Juglans (walnut)   Olea(olives)   Morus (mulberry)   Pistacia(pistachio)   Prunus (peach, plum, apricot, cherry, almond, and related species)   Punica (pomegranate)   Vitis (grape) 


GRIN Accession Query