Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pomegranate 'Wonderful'

Pomegranate "Wonderful" Tree  Photo by Petals of the Past

I got a bareroot  plant material for pomegranate (Punica granatum L. 'Wonderful') waiting to be planted in my garden.  One problem remains - finding a place to plant it.  I will soak the bare root in water in the mean time to hydrate it prior to planting.  Pomegranate is supposed to be heat and drought tolerant which makes it a good plant for our area...also, they say that the variety, 'Wonderful', is highly adapted in California.

According to California Rare Fruit Growers, the variety 'Wonderful' is a vigorous and productive.  Because of that, it has become the leading commercial variety in California.  It originated in Florida and was first propagated in California in 1896. The fruits are large, deep purple-red, with medium thick tough rind.  The flesh is deep crimson in color.  It is juicy and of a delicious vinous flavor.  Soon I will have the chance to see and taste it from my own tree.

The name pomegranate comes from the Latin words pomum (apple) and granatus (seeded).  So pomegranate means seeded apple.  The plant is a beautiful tree and the fruits are nutritious and decorative.  It must have been cultivated thousands of years ago since the Old Testament bible talks about pomegranate in many occasions as a part of a decorative design on the garments of priests (Exodus 28:33).   It must also have been grown and consumed in Egypts as part of their diet.  This is evidenced by the fact that the Israelites when they were led out of Egypt complained about the lack of grains, figs, grapevines or pomegranate (Number 20:5).  In California, pomegranate was introduced by the Spanish settlers in 1769.

Anyway, that's just a tidbit of information on this plant that will soon become a part of my garden.

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