Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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PUNICACEAE

POMEGRANATE FAMILY

Elizabeth McClintock

Shrub, small tree, glabrous, sometimes thorny
Leaves simple, opposite, entire, deciduous
Inflorescence: axillary clusters; flowers 1–5
Flower bisexual, radial; hypanthium bell-shaped to cylindric, ± leathery; sepals 5–8, persistent, appearing as hypanthium lobes; petals 5–8, crumpled in bud (and often in flower); stamens many, inserted along hypanthium tube; ovary inferior, chambers generally 3–8, irregular, style 1, stigma 1, head-like
Fruit: berry, ± spheric, leathery-rinded, divided into irregular sections
Seeds many, embedded in juicy pulp
Genera in family: 1 genus, ± 1 sp.: Medit, ne Africa, to Himalayas. Seeds edible.

PUNICA

POMEGRANATE


Species in genus: 1 variable sp
Etymology: (Latin: "Apple of Carthage")

Introduced

P. granatum L.


Stem < 5 m
Leaf: blade 2–8 cm, oblong or ovate-lanceolate, >> petiole
Flower 3–5 cm wide; hypanthium ± brownish red; petals coral-red
Fruit generally 8–10 cm wide, bright orange-red
Seeds ruby-red
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed ground
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: s San Joaquin Valley, s Central Coast, n South Coast
Distribution outside California: native se Europe to Himalayas
Long, widely cultivated in warm areas, often naturalized; fermented seeds source of grenadine; dwarf and double-flowered forms cultivated as ornamental; persistent calyx on fruit inspired King Solomon's crown (hence others).

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