Pomegranate

One of the healthiest fruits you can consume comes from the Punica granatum (pomegranate) tree. But how much do you really know about this amazing tree species?
Pomegranate trees produce the incredible pomegranate fruit and have been cultivated for several millennia. Relatively easy to care for, this tree, its flower, and fruit all have profound historical and cultural significance.

Pomegranate Tree Information
Pomegranate is a tree species native to the region of Iran to Afghanistan and Pakistan to Northern India. Today, the species is cultivated throughout the Middle East, Northern and Tropical Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and parts of the Southwestern United States.

Tree Name – Pomegranate
Scientific Name/Species – Punica granatum
Family – Lythraceae
Genus – Punica
Nickname – Winter Jewels, Red Ruby, and Chinese Apple
Lifespan – Can live up to 200 years or more when planted in optimal conditions.
Type – Deciduous.
Hardiness Zone(s) – from 8a to 13a
Soil Requirements – Versatile, prefers well-drained rich, fertile soil with full sun exposure.
Planting Spacing – 5 to 6ft
Watering Requirements – Regular when young or planted. Minimal thereafter.
Height – 15ft on average. Can reach 30ft under optimal conditions.
DBH – NA
Crown Span – 8 to 10ft or more at maturity.
Root Spread – Wide and shallow (10-25ft from the trunk and 2 to 3ft deep)
Uses in Landscaping – Highlight tree, border or division, and addition to orchards.
Winter/Fall Colors – Yellow before leaf-drop in the fall.
Pests – Healthy pomegranates are incredibly resilient to insect attacks but may see aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, and thrips in the spring and summer months. Neem oil or other organic insecticides can be used to control them easily.
Disease – Keeping your pomegranate tree healthy will help it avoid or fight rot, anthracnose, and fungal wilt.
Major Disease Threat – Heart Rot

Pomegranate Origin and History
Originating from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India, Punica granatum (pomegranate) has been grown for several millennia, and was cultivated and naturalized over the extent of the Mediterranean region.
It wasn’t until 1769 that Spanish settlers introduced the first pomegranate specimen to California. Two and a half centuries later, pomegranate trees can be found throughout the US in a commercial capacity as well as in private landscapes and potted in our homes.
Armenian culture sees the pomegranate as a semi-religious icon. A symbol representing abundance, marriage, and fertility, the fruit and its juice are used with Armenian food, heritage, and wine.
As the fruit contains numerous seeds, it is perceived to symbolize fruitfulness. Thus, fostering the tradition to eat the fruit on Rosh Hashana. Besides several mentions in the Bible, some believe the fruit has 613 seeds corresponding to the 613 commandments found in the Torah.

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