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Punica granatum

Small fruit tree growing 3-5m high, native to central Asia but now widely grown in the Mediterranean, Middle East, China, California and other similar climates. References to its symbolism abound in many cultures. A long-lived and ornamental tree, the pretty red flowers (which are edible) are followed (if not eaten!) by tennis ball to grapefruit sized fruit in Autumn which is juicy and refreshing with a sub-acid flavour. These fruits contain many seeds surrounded by a fleshy seedcoat, both of which form the part eaten. They may be processed into juice (used in sauces, baking, ice cream etc), liquers and molasses. Dried the seeds are used as a seasoning in dal, fried samosa, stuffings and chutneys. Many health benefits are claimed for the fruit, and it has a long history of herbal use dating back more than 3,000 years. All parts of the plant contain unusual alkaloids, known as ‘pelletierines’, which paralyse tapeworms so that they are easily expelled from the body by using a laxative. The plant is also rich in tannin, which makes it an effective astringent. The fruits are high in vitamins C and K, dietary fibre, and antioxidant polyphenols and anthocyanins. The wood is hard grained and durable and the plant yields a dye – red/black from the flowers and yellow from the dried peel. Trees are tolerant of many soil types but need good drainage. Drought hardy but fruit may be dry with a lack of water. Frost hardy to -10 degrees.

PB5 Approx height 40cm. Certified Organic Plant.

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