Open pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit that is spherical and red with deep red tissue surrounding seeds
Punica granatum


Family: Lythraceae
Other common names: رمان (Arabic), magraner (Catalan), 安石榴 (traditional Chinese), mogranj (Croatian), nar (Croatian), marhaník granátový (Czech), granado (English), granaattiomena (Finnish), grenadier commun (French), granatapfel (German), רימון מצוי (Hebrew), melograna (Italian), melograno (Italian), ザクロ (Japanese), انار (Persian), romãzeira (Portuguese), Гранат обыкновенный (Russian), granada cordelina (Spanish), ทับทิม (Thai)
IUCN Red List status: Least Concern

The pomegranate is the crown jewel of the fruit world.

For thousands of years, the pomegranate has been celebrated by different cultures and civilizations around the world; it appears in ancient myths and religious traditions.

The pomegranate has also been hailed as a superfruit for its significant nutritional and medicinal properties that are used traditionally to treat conditions from digestive disorders to heart disease.

The pomegranate plant is a large shrub or small tree that has smooth, evergreen leaves and showy orange to red flowers. It has rounded fruit with a dry outer covering (husk) made up of two layers: (1) a hard-outer layer called an epicarp, (2) a soft inner layer called a mesocarp. The inner mesocarp has distinct chambers that contain fleshy seeds.

Read the scientific profile on pomegranate

Beauty and cosmetics

Extracts from the seeds of pomegranates are used in skincare products as they contain antioxidant compounds and are also included in beauty products for their exotic, sweet fragrance.


During the Iranian tradition Yalda Night, people come together on winter solstice and eat pomegranate fruit to celebrate the victory of light over darkness.

Food and drink

Pomegranate seeds can be eaten raw or juiced. They are a good source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals.


Ancient cultures used pomegranates in remedies for digestive disorders, skin disorders, and intestinal parasites. Many of these traditions continue to this day.

Modern day research has revealed that pomegranates contain compounds that could contribute towards preventing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. However, further research is needed to support these findings.

  • Pomegranate fruit are technically berries. They are fleshy fruit that come from the ovary of a single flower.

  • In Ancient Iranian Christianity, the pomegranate was believed to be the real forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

  • According to Greek mythology, Hades used pomegranate seeds to trick Persephone into returning to the underworld.

Map of the world showing where pomegranate is native and introduced to
Native: Afghanistan, Iran, North Caucasus, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Transcaucasia, Turkey, Turkmenistan
Introduced: Alabama, Albania, Algeria, Andaman Islands, Bahamas, Baleares, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Chad, China South-Central, Corse, Croatia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Aegean Islands, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Free State, Greece, Gulf of Guinea Islands, Haiti, India, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Korea, Kriti, Laos, Leeward Islands, Libya, Mexico Central, Montenegro, Morocco, New Caledonia, Nicobar Islands, Niger, Norfolk Island, North Macedonia, Oman, Panamá, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Réunion, Serbia, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Helena, Switzerland, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey-in-Europe, Turks-Caicos Islands, Uzbekistan, Venezuelan Antilles, Vietnam, Windward Islands, Yemen

Grows in well-drained soils in sheltered positions with full sun at an altitude of 1000 — 2775m.

Kew Gardens

A botanic garden in southwest London with the world’s most diverse living plant collection.


South Octagon of the Temperate House.

View map of Kew Gardens
Best time to see
Flowers: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Fruits: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Other plants

More from Kew


Enjoy our pomegranate products. Buying something from the Kew Online Shop supports our vital science work.

The geographical areas mentioned on this page follow the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions (WGSRPD) developed by Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG).