Sunday, August 8, 2010
Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
The foliage can be evergreen or deciduous depending on winter temperatures and rainfall. New growth is reddish in color.
Punica granatum is native to the region ranging from the Middle-East to the Himalayas. It is hardy to 12°F and thrives in arid conditions.
There are many named varieties that vary in plant size, fruit size, fruit color, etc. Dwarf varieties are sold mainly as ornamentals and produce little or no fruit.
A textile dye is made from the rind and flowers, while ink can be produced by steeping the leaves in vinegar. The Japanese extract an insecticide from the bark and various plant parts have medicinal qualities.