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Punica (Pomegranate)

Little Pomegranate at home

Pomegranate, Punica


Pomegranate next door

Pomegranate [POM-uh-gran-uht], or Punica.
In Korea we call this tree Sokryu.
For Thai family (mostly Chinese-Thai) likes to have one at home.   Thai uses branch of the tree dipped in water to spray on you, when you come back home from funeral, with the belief that it will wash away evil spirit you may bring along.  I found its really easy growing.   Some one put a cut of branch and shoved into a pot.  A few month (or year I don't know) later, I found it starts make fruit (see bottom-right).  The main trunk hardly bigger than 1/3" across.  

Following is information I got from  THE ANCIENT GROVE and GARDEN

Pomegranate, Hebrew: rimmon, Punica granatum

The pomegranate is a very unusual fruit often referred to in the Bible. The "grains" are many ruby-colored seeds. These seeds are covered with a thin skin and are full of juice. A refreshing delicacy, it is loved by those who dwell in a hot, thirsty land. The plant grows wild in Syria and Persia. It is a low growing shrub or small tree with a straight stem, reddish bark and plenty of spreading branches. The dark green leaves are highly polished and the pomegranate flowers are fleshy, coral red colored with crinkled petals. These petals have a fiery appearance and are quite brilliant.
When ripe, the fruit is about the size of an orange, has a thick jacket enveloping the pulp, is maroon in color and has many seeds. Syrup made from the pomegranate seeds is known as grenadine. The first sherbet was made from snow mixed with pomegranate juice. Apothecaries made an astringent medication for treatment of dysentery from the blossoms, which are known as balausts.
Other names for the pomegranate are malum granatum, and in French the name is pomme granate.
Three pomegranates are on the silver shekel of Jerusalem. It was in circulation from 143 to 135 BC. Hiram of Tyre used the pomegranate in building Solomon's temple (I Kings 7:18, 20). The ephod of the high priest was bordered at the hem with pomegranates.

November 1999


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