Clarke, J. Harold Clarke Nursery, Long Beach, Washington.
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A small deciduous tree, Punica granatum, belonging to the plant order Myrtales and cultivated for its reddish, pomelike fruit. The pomegranate is grown as an ornamental plant as well as for its fruit. Propagation is by cuttings and occasionally by layering. The pomegranate is a native of Asia and was described by writers as early as 300 BC. It was originally known for its medicinal qualities, and cures for various ills were attributed to the fruit juice, the rind, and the bark of the roots. The fruit (see illustration) is a reddish, pomelike berry, containing numerous seeds embedded in crimson pulp, from which an acid, reddish juice may be obtained. It contains high amounts of antioxidants, including polyphenols (for example, tannins) and vitamin C. The pomegranate is cultivated throughout the Middle East, southern Asia, tropical Africa, and the Mediterranean region. In the United States, limited quantities are grown in California, Arizona, and regions along the Gulf Coast. See also: Antioxidant; Fruit; Fruit, tree; Myrtales; Plant propagation; Seed
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