Punica granatum, Pomegranate
Zone
  8/7b
Pollination
  self-fertile
Ripens
  5 - 6 months (hot climate)
Chill Hours
  0 - 200
pH
  5.5 - 7.2 (preferred), 4.5 - 8.2 (acceptable)
Yield
  2 - 4 years (clone), 3 - 4 years (seedling)
Tolerant
  saline soil (semi-tolerant)

Pomegranates are native to Iran and the drier half of south Asia.   In addition, they have been extensively cultivated in Caucasia, other parts of the Middle East, and the Mediterranean basin.  Rainfall within their native region is near 0" for 4 months (in the middle of the grow season) and 1" to 1.5" per month during the rest of the year.  While established plants can tolerate severe drought and extreme heat, irrigation is necessary if you wish to get a good crop.  High humidity early in the season will cause blossom damage and disease, but a few fruit are sometimes spared.  Heavy irrigation when the fruit is mature or after a dry spell will encourage them to split.

Many cultivars are hardy down to 12F (-11.1C), but the most cold hardy can survive temperatures down to 7F (-13.9C).  Young trees may be more sensitive to winter cold, and temperatures around 28F (-2.2C) will often kill pomegranate trees if they are awake from dormancy.  Since they are propagated through rooted cuttings rather than grafting, you'll retain the same cultivar, but they may not fruit again for a few years.  

"Hard seeds" may not be edible, but "medium hard seeds" should be (assuming the label is accurate).  Sometimes soft and hard seeds are the only two labels used.   Medium soft seeds to medium hard are often placed in the hard seed label, so this creates some confusion.

Pomegranates can be stored for roughly 2 - 3 months if the temperature is around 45F (7.2C) with a relative humidity between 85 - 95%.  Temperatures below 41F (5C) will eventually cause chilling injury to the fruit.  Regardless, people still freeze the arils, so injury is likely insignificant outside of decreasing its ability to sell.

The fruit can come in many different shades, but to keep things simple, color descriptions will be limited to dark purple, burgundy, red, orange, pink, and yellow.  Red and burgundy are the hardest for me to distinguish, and some descriptions may be based on the fruit when it's not completely ripe.

Pomegranates do not ripen off the tree.




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Pomegranate
Punica granatum

AC Sweet

Developed in Beaver Dam, Arizona.
Zone
:
8a?
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
red skin, pink arils
Seeds
:
soft
A few nurseries list AC Sweet as being hardy down to zone 6, but I highly doubt it.  can it survive zone 7b? no other soft seeded is that cold hardy.  no one talks about this variety.

Afganski

Zone
:
7b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart? (tart)
Seeds
:
medium? (hard), seedy

Agat

Developed in southern Russia.
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin
Seeds
:
soft

Tree Size
:
dwarf and spreading
Yield
:
very productive

Al Sirin Nar

Originated in Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan.
Zone
:
7b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
hard
Yield
:
very productive

Ambrosia

Developed in California.
Zone
:
8b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
pink skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
medium
Fruit Size
:
large fruit

Angel Red

Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
early

Flavor
:
sweet?
Color
:
red skin, red arils
Seeds
:
soft

Ariana

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Zone
:
8
Flavor
:
sweet-tart to tart
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
soft

Austin

Originated in Syria.
Zone
:
7b? (8)
Color
:
red skin, red arils
Fruit Size
:
large fruit (1 lb or more)

Azadi

Originated in Persia.
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
early-mid?

Flavor
:
sweet and slightly astringent
Color
:
orange skin, pink arils
Seeds
:
soft

Bala Miursal

Originated in Azerbaijan.
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
medium hard
Yield
:
very productive
One nursery claims "Bala Miursal" and "Cranberry" are the same varieties, but I'm not sure if this is correct.  Perhaps two different varieties were referred to as Cranberry at some point.

Balegal

Selected in San Diego, California.
Zone
:
8b
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
pink skin

Cana

Originated in Palestine.
Flavor
:
sweet

Chernaya Roza

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Flavor
:
tart
Color
:
dark purple skin
Seeds
:
medium hard
Chernaya Roza is Russian for "Black Rose".

Cranberry

Developed in California.
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
late

Flavor
:
tart?
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
hard?
Yield
:
very productive

Daru

Originated in the western Himalayas.
Flavor
:
tart
Color
:
red-green skin
Tree Size
:
small fruit
Daru is used to make the spice anardana.

Desertnyi

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Zone
:
8
Ripens
🍏:
early-mid?

Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
orange-pink skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
soft

Early Wonderful

Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
early-mid?   :   2 weeks earlier than Wonderful

Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin

Elf

Developed in California.
Alias
:
Garnet Sash
Flavor
:
sweet-tart? (sweet)
Color
:
yellow skin, green skin, orange skin, pink arils
Seeds
:
hard?

Tree Size
:
semi-dwarf? (dwarf)
Yield
:
very productive

Eve

Developed in California.
Zone
:
7b? (8)
Ripens
🍏:
late
Color
:
red skin, pink arils

Eversweet

Developed in California.
Zone
:
8b
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
red skin, yellow arils
Seeds
:
soft
Tree Size
:
semi-dwarf, 8-10ft in height
Eversweet develops a sweet flavor before maturity.

Favorite

Originated in southern Russia.
Alias
:
Lyubimy, Lubimi
Zone
:
7b

Fleishmann

Selected in Fallbrook, San Diego County, California. Discovered in the 1950's.
Zone
:
8b
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
pink skin, pink arils
Seeds
:
soft

Gissarskii Rozovyi

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Zone
:
8
Ripens
🍏:
early-mid?

Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
pink skin, yellow skin, red arils
Seeds
:
soft

Golden Globe

Developed in California.
Zone
:
8b
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
yellow skin, pink arils, red arils
Tree Size
:
large fruit (up to 2 pounds)

Grenada

Zone
:
8a
Ripens
🍏:
early? (very early)

Flavor
:
sweet-tart? (sweet)
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Grenada is a less tart, earlier ripening bud mutation of Wonderful.

Haku Botan

Originated in Japan.
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
mid-late (late)

Flavor
:
tart
Color
:
yellow skin, yellow arils
Seeds
:
medium hard
Haku Botan produces double white to slightly yellow flowers.

Hotuni Zigar

Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
pink skin
Tree Size
:
up to 5" fruit

Hyrdanar X Goulosha

Ripens
🍏:
mid-late?
Tree Size
:
dwarf, 3-5ft in height

Ink

Zone
:
8b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
medium

Kaim Anor

Originated in Azerbaijan.
Ripens
🍏:
early
Flavor
:
sweet-tart? (sweet)
Color
:
pink skin, red arils
Seeds
:
hard
Afflictions
:
supposedly resistant to disease (no specifics mentioned)
The arils of Kaim Anor come out easier than most other cultivars.

Kaj Acik Anor

Originated in the Uzbek-Tadzhik region.
Zone
:
7b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Seeds
:
hard

Kara Bala Miursal

bud mutation of Bala Miursal.  Originated in Azerbaijan.
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
medium hard
Yield
:
very productive

Kara Gul

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
burgundy skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
medium hard

Kazake

Originated in Uzbekistan.
Zone
:
7b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
yellow skin, pink skin, green skin, red arils
Seeds
:
hard

Storage
:
longer than usual
Afflictions
:
Resistant to splitting.

Ki Zakuro

Originated in Japan.
Zone
:
8b
Ki Zakuro produces double pink-orange flowers with white edges.

Kolobok

Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
pink skin, red arils
Seeds
:
soft

Mae

Developed in California.
Zone
:
8b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

Medovyi Vahsha

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Zone
:
8
Ripens
🍏:
early-mid?

Flavor
:
sweet and slightly bitter
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
soft

Molla Nepes

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Zone
:
8
Ripens
🍏:
mid-late?

Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
soft

Myagkosemyannyi Rosovyi

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Alias
:
Soft Seeded Pink
Zone
:
8

Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
pink skin, yellow skin, pink arils, yellow arils
Seeds
:
soft

Myatadzhy

Zone
:
8
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
soft with a nutty flavor

Nana

Originated in Japan?
Zone
:
7?
Color
:
red skin
Tree Size
:
dwarf tree, 3-4 feet in height with small 2" fruit
dense and bushy

Nititski Ranni

Zone
:
7b
Ripens
🍏:
early-mid?

Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin, pink skin, burgundy arils, red arils
Seeds
:
medium hard
Afflictions
:
Resistant to splitting.
Nititski Ranni may also be Crimson Sky.

Nochi Shibori

Originated in Japan.
Zone
:
7?
Tree Size
:
up to 10ft in height
Yield
:
fruitless
Nochi Shibori produces double red flowers.

Parfianka

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
mid-late (late)

Flavor
:
slightly astringent? sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin, burgundy skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
soft
Yield
:
highly productive
Parfianka is highly recommended, but only in a hot, dry climate with a very long grow season where it can properly develop its deep flavors.

Phil's Sweet

Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
early-mid?

Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
pink skin, yellow skin
Seeds
:
soft

Phoenicia

Developed in California.
Most descriptions say Phoenicia is sweet with a little tartness and red-green skin, but one report from a Wolfskill taste test said it's very tart and yellow-pink in color.  This article implies that it's sweet-tart and shows that it is primarily yellow in color as well.   GRIN claims it's red-green and semi-tart, but then says it's best used for jelly and syrups, which implies it's more on the tart side.  I have not seen any images of it being primarily red.

medium hard seeds?

Pink Satin

Alias
:
Pink Ice, Sin Pepe
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
mid (mid-late)

Flavor
:
sweet and fruity
Color
:
red skin, pink skin, pink arils, yellow arils
Seeds
:
soft

Purple Heart

Developed in Camarillo, California.
Alias
:
Sharp Velvet
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
late

Flavor
:
sweet-tart to sweet
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
medium
Afflictions
:
Resistant to splitting?

Red Silk

Zone
:
8b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
red skin, red arils
Seeds
:
soft
Tree Size
:
dwarf or semi-dwarf, 6-8ft in height

Sakerdze

Flavor
:
sweet-tart to tart
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
hard

Salavatski

Zone
:
7b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
pink skin, orange skin, red arils
Seeds
:
medium hard
Afflictions
:
Resistant to splitting.

Sirenevyi

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Zone
:
8
Ripens
🍏:
late

Flavor
:
sweet and complex
Color
:
red skin, pink skin, orange skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
soft

Sogdiana

Flavor
:
sweet to sweet-tart, complex, and slightly bitter and astringent
Color
:
red skin, red arils
Seeds
:
soft

Sumbar

Originated in Turkmenistan, from the Sumbar River Valley.
Zone
:
7b? (8)
Ripens
🍏:
early

Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
red skin
Seeds
:
soft
Sumbar may be the same as Sumbarskii.  Both appear to be sweet, soft seeded, and originated in Turkmenistan, but I don't see much else about them.  is sumbarskii early ripening too?

Surh Anor

Originated in Afganistan.
Zone
:
7b
Flavor
:
sweet-tart
Color
:
pink skin, yellow skin, yellow arils, pink arils
Seeds
:
hard
Yield
:
very productive
Surh Anor is the most productive hardy pomegranate available in the US.

Sverkhranniy

Originated in Turkmenistan.
Ripens
🍏:
very early   :   early August in southern California
Flavor
:
sweet
Seeds
:
soft

Sweet

Zone
:
8b
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
pink skin, pink arils
The "Sweet" pomegranate develops a sweet flavor before maturity.

Syunt

Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
red skin? yellow arils
Seeds
:
soft

Toryu Shibori

Originated in Japan.
Zone
:
8b
Toryu Shibori produces double apricot colored flowers.

Utah's Sweet

Ripens
🍏:
early?
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
pink skin, red skin, pink arils, red arils
Seeds
:
soft
pink-orange flowers

Vina

Originally from the Trappist Monastery in Vina, California.
Flavor
:
sweet
Color
:
pink skin, yellow arils
Seeds
:
soft
Other
:
papershell

Vkusnyi

Flavor
:
sweet-tart, complex
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
soft and small
Other
:
thin skin (papershell?)

White Flower

Originated in Albania.
Color
:
yellow skin, green skin
Seeds
:
hard
Other
:
double white flowers

Wonderful

Selected in Porterville, CA (1896). Scionwood originated in Florida.
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
🍏:
mid

Flavor
:
sweet-tart, slightly astringent
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Seeds
:
medium soft
Tree Size
:
10-12ft in height / up to 5" fruit
Wonderful is the most commercially cultivated variety in the US.