Mysteries of the Pomegranate

img_3242I know nothing about pomegranates. Sometimes my husband gives me one for Christmas, and I like them, especially in fruit salad. Beyond that, I’m completely ignorant.

So last year, when I saw a pomegranate tree for sale in a local nursery, I naturally bought it.

To be fair, I did do a little research first, just to make sure we had any chance of actually getting it to grow on our property. By the time I brought it home, I knew it had no less of a chance of surviving here than any other fruit tree (all of which prefer more water and less wind than they get here).

So we planted a pomegranate, and a couple of months later it lost all its leaves.

Are pomegranates deciduous, or is it dead? We didn’t even know this much. Turns out, yes, they are. Ours dutifully leafed out again in spring.

Once we knew it was alive, we promptly ignored it again, until a few weeks ago when we noticed little red bulbs on it.

Hey! Fruit! Though we had seen no flowers, we could easily have missed them. For all we knew, pomegranates had small, plain flowers.

Then today, one of those little red bulbs burst, unfurling this stunning big red bloom.

Wow! We had no idea. I’d grow this tree for the flowers alone. They have all the tropical exuberance of a hibiscus (but on a more cold-hardy plant).

I still have no idea when or if those flowers might become fruit (it seems the wrong time of year for any tree to be flowering) but, hey, we know a lot more about pomegranates than we did a year ago. Reason enough to grow something new.

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