pomegranate

pomegranate
/pom"gran'it, pom"i-, pum"-/, n.
1. a chambered, many-seeded, globose fruit, having a tough, usually red rind and surmounted by a crown of calyx lobes, the edible portion consisting of pleasantly acid flesh developed from the outer seed coat.
2. the shrub or small tree, Punica granatum, that bears it, native to southwestern Asia but widely cultivated in warm regions.
[1275-1325; ME poumgarnet, pomegarnade ( < OF pome grenate, pome gernete), repr. ML pomum granatum lit., seedy apple. See POME, GRENADE]

* * *

Fruit of Punica granatum, a bush or small tree of Asia, which with a little-known species from the island of Socotra constitutes the family Punicaceae.

Native to Iran and long cultivated around the Mediterranean and in India, it also grows in the warmer parts of the New World. The orange-sized and obscurely six-sided fruit has smooth, leathery, brownish yellow to red skin. Several chambers contain many thin, transparent vesicles of reddish, juicy pulp, each containing an angular, elongated seed. The fruit is eaten fresh, and the juice is the source of the grenadine syrup used in flavourings and liqueurs. The plant grows 16–23 ft (5–7 m) tall and has elliptical, bright green leaves and handsome orange-red flowers. Throughout the Orient, the pomegranate has since earliest times occupied a position of importance alongside the grape and the fig. It is mentioned in the Bible, by the Prophet Muhammad, and in Greek mythology.

* * *

plant
      fruit of Punica granatum, a bush or small tree of Asia, which with a little-known species from the island of Socotra constitutes the family Punicaceae. The plant, which may attain 5 or 7 metres (16 or 23 feet) in height, has elliptic to lance-shaped, bright-green leaves about 75 millimetres (3 inches) long and handsome axillary orange-red flowers borne toward the ends of the branchlets. The calyx is tubular and persistent and has five to seven lobes; the petals are lance-shaped, inserted between the calyx lobes. The ovary is embedded in the calyx tube and contains several compartments in two series, one above the other.

      The fruit is the size of a large orange, obscurely six-sided, with a smooth, leathery skin that ranges from brownish yellow to red; within, it is divided into several chambers containing many thin, transparent vesicles of reddish, juicy pulp, each surrounding an angular, elongated seed. The fruit is eaten fresh, and the juice is the source of grenadine syrup, used in flavourings and liqueurs.

      Throughout the Orient, the pomegranate has since earliest times occupied a position of importance alongside the grape and the fig. According to the Bible, King Solomon possessed an orchard of pomegranates, and, when the children of Israel, wandering in the wilderness, sighed for the abandoned comforts of Egypt, the cooling pomegranates were remembered longingly. Centuries later, the prophet Muḥammad remarked, “Eat the pomegranate, for it purges the system of envy and hatred.”

      While the pomegranate is considered indigenous to Iran and neighbouring countries, its cultivation long ago encircled the Mediterranean and extended through the Arabian Peninsula, Afghanistan, and India. It is commonly cultivated in the Americas from the warmer parts of the United States to Chile.

      Though the pomegranate grows in a wide range of climates, good fruit is produced only where high temperatures and dry atmosphere accompany the ripening period. Deep, rather heavy loams appear to be the best soils. Seeds can readily be grown, but choice varieties are reproduced by cutting and layerings. Commercial propagation is performed by taking hardwood cuttings 250–300 mm (10–12 inches) long and rooting them in the open ground.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • POMEGRANATE — (Heb. רִמּוֹן, rimmon), the tree, Punica granatum, and its fruit. It is one of the seven choice fruits of Ereẓ Israel (Deut. 8:8), and among the fruits brought by the spies sent by Moses, as proof of the land s fertility (Num. 13:23). After the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • pomegranate — [päm′gran΄it, päm′əgran΄it; pum′gran′it] n. [ME pomegarnet < OFr pome granade < pome (see POME) + granade < L granatum, pomegranate, lit., having seeds, neut. of granatus < granum, seed, GRAIN] 1. a round fruit with a red, leathery… …   English World dictionary

  • Pomegranate — Pome gran ate (?; 277), n. [OE. pomgarnet, OF. pome de grenate, F. grenade, L. pomum a fruit + granatus grained, having many grains or seeds. See {Pome}, and {Garnet}, {Grain}.] 1. (Bot.) The fruit of the tree {Punica Granatum}; also, the tree… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pomegranate — (n.) early 14c., poumgarnet, from O.Fr. pome grenate, from M.L. pomum granatum, lit. apple with many seeds, from pome apple, fruit + grenate having grains, from L. granata, fem. of granatus, from granum grain. The Latin was malum granatum seeded… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pomegranate — ► NOUN ▪ a round tropical fruit with a tough golden orange outer skin and sweet red flesh containing many seeds. ORIGIN from Latin pomum granatum apple having many seeds …   English terms dictionary

  • Pomegranate — For other uses, see Pomegranate (disambiguation). Pomegranate Punica granatum Fruit Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • pomegranate — paprastasis granatmedis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Granatmedinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, maistinis, vaisinis, vaistinis augalas (Punica granatum), paplitęs vakarų ir atogrąžų Azijoje. Naudojamas gėrimams (sultims) gaminti. atitikmenys:… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • pomegranate — [14] The pomegranate is etymologically the ‘many seeded apple’. The word’s ultimate ancestor was Latin mālum grānātum (mālum gave English malic ‘of apples’ [18], and grānātus was derived from grānum ‘seed’, source of English grain). In Vulgar… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • pomegranate — UK [ˈpɒmɪˌɡrænət] / US [ˈpɑmˌɡrænət] noun [countable] Word forms pomegranate : singular pomegranate plural pomegranates a round fruit that has a hard skin and many thick seeds inside …   English dictionary

  • pomegranate — [14] The pomegranate is etymologically the ‘many seeded apple’. The word’s ultimate ancestor was Latin mālum grānātum (mālum gave English malic ‘of apples’ [18], and grānātus was derived from grānum ‘seed’, source of English grain). In Vulgar… …   Word origins

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”