- San Diego Zoo
Pomegranate Punica granatum
FAMILY: PUNICACEAE (Pomegranate family)
The pomegranate tree has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa, and Europe. The unusual fruit has a hard covering that protects hundreds of seeds. It is these seeds we find so tart and tasty! Desert dwellers use pomegranates like canteens, drinking the juice as needed.
Some people believe it is the pomegranate tree that is referred to in the Bible as the "tree of knowledge." And in Greek mythology, the goddess Persephone had to stay with Hades, lord of the underworld, a portion of each year according to how many pomegranate seeds she ate.