THE POMEGRANATE - Punica granatum

Pomegranate - www.flickr.com/groups/colorphotoaward




Take a trip around the Mediterranean and it's guaranteed that you'll see plenty of olive and citrus trees, mostly under commercial production. However, make your way into Greece and the Greek islands and you will come across a fruiting tree that you may not be familiar with, Punica granatum - the pomegranate.

Pomegranate illustration
The pomegranate has been cultivated throughout Greece since ancient times. In fact, carbonized fruit skins have has been identified in Late Bronze Age levels of Hala Sultan Tekke in Cyprus and the ancient remains of a historic hill fort at Tiryns.

Be that as it may, the pomegranate is generally considered to have originated in Persia, now modern day Iran.

Incidentally, Tiryns was first referenced by Homer who praised its massive walls. Tradition has it that the walls were built by the cyclopes because only giants of superhuman strength could have lifted the enormous stones.

Luckily for many of us the pomegranate is suitable for most people gardens and is surprisingly hardy. Growing to a height of between 8-10 ft, the pomegranate is hardy enough to be grown in the milder regions of northern Europe which even includes southern and western England!

It produces scarlet flowers from June to September, which are followed by yellow-orange, red flushed fruit. They are unlikely to ripen in northern Europe other than in exceptional years, but there is no such problem in warmer climates.

Pomegranate blooms
Pomegranates are relatively free of most pests and diseases, although you can experience minor problems are leaf and fruit spot and foliar damage by whiteflies, thrips, mealybugs and scale insects.

In the Ancient Greek mythology, the pomegranate was known as the 'fruit of the dead', believed to have sprung from the blood of Adonis, the god of beauty and desire!

They were also offered to Demeter and to the other gods for fertile land, for the spirits of the dead and in honor of compassionate Dionysus. Today, when someone buys a new home, it is  for a house guest to bring as a first gift a pomegranate, which is placed under/near the ikonostas (home altar) of the house, as a symbol of abundance, fertility and good luck.

For related articles click onto the following links:
BUY CAPE GOOSEBERRY SEEDS - Physalis peruviana
HOW TO GROW THE POMEGRANATE
HOW TO GROW POMEGRANATE FROM CUTTINGS
HOW TO GROW POMEGRANATE FROM SEED
LABURNUM ALPINUM
LABURNUM WATERERI 'ALFORDS WEEPING'
LABURNUM x WATERERI 'VOSSII'
THE POMEGRANATE  -  Punica granatum

No comments: