Pomegranate Tree Facts

Overview

Pomegranates are known scientifically as Punica granatum. They are tiny trees or deciduous shrubs that produce a popular fruit. Pomegranates tend to grow to be between 16 and 26 feet in height. The plants originate in the Iranian plateau, and are naturalized in the Mediterranean region. They are commonly grown for their fruits in the United States, especially in Arizona and California.

Characteristics

The trees have sub-opposite or opposite leaves. The foliage has a glossy and leathery texture and is narrow and oblong in shape. Pomegranate trees produce flowers that are a vibrant red or white, and consist of between four and five petals. Pomegranate bears a fruit that is edible and a berry. The skin of the fruit is thick and red in color. The fruit is comprised of approximately 600 seeds in total.

Geography

The plants appear from the Himalayas of northern India all the way to Iran. Pomegranates also are common all throughout India, and appear in dry regions of southeastern Asia, tropical Africa and the West Indies.

Cultivation

Pomegranates should be grown in very sunny and warm areas to produce the highest quality fruit. However, the trees also can be grown in partial shade. Pomegranates flourish in soil that is well-drained, but also do well in acidic loam and calcareous loam. Pomegranates should be pruned when they are approximately 2 feet tall.

Diseases and Pests

Pomegranate trees are comparatively free of the majority of diseases and pests. Some minor issues that the trees experience include fruit and leaf spot, as well as pests like scale insects, mealybugs, thrips and whiteflies.

Health

The fruit of pomegranate trees is believed to offer various health benefits. Pomegranates are high in antioxidants that can make sure that "bad" LDL cholesterol does not oxidize. It can also help prevent and manage a bevy of other health ailments, include coronary heart disease (it can increase the levels of oxygen that travel to the heart muscle), prostate cancer, breast cancer and erectile dysfunction, according to Health Central.

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About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.