Pomegranate waterdrops

Ibrahimjon CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pomegranate is the vernacular name for the fruit of Punica granatum L. (Punicaceae), as well as of the low tree (or shrub) that bears that fruit. It is native to Asia but is now cultivated in Africa, the western USA and throughout the Mediterranean region. Pomegranate does best in areas with hot, arid summers, but suffers in cold climates. The long-lived shrubs grow well in sunny plots, on well-drained soils, usually attaining about 5-8 meters in height. Many varieties are partially deciduous. Pomegranates usually begin to produce fruit 2-3 years after planting.

The yellow-to-red, leathery skin of the fruit is crowned by a prominent, red calyx. Internally the fruit is divided by whitish membranes into several compartments that hold small, juice-filled reddish sacs, each containing a single seed. The juice is sweet to sour, its best flavor being produced after hot periods. Ripe fruit may be kept in cool storage for as long as four months. In some parts of the world pomegranates are also grown as ornamentals. Their juice has many medicinal properties.

World production of pomegranates is estimated to be about 900,000 tons, with the leading countries being Tunis, Turkey, Iran, India and Spain. About 700 hectares are planted to pomegranates (mostly of the variety “Wonderful”) in Israel. They provide approximately 7,000 tons that are sold as edibles, to the wine industry and for export. Due to increasing demand the cultivated area is growing.

Major Pomegranate pests in the Middle East

Aphis gossypii

Aphis punicae

Ceratitis capitata

Cryptoblabes gnidiella

Lobesia botrana

Planococcus citri

Siphoninus phillyreae

Tenuipalpus granati

Tenuipalpus punicae

Virachola livia (also known as Deudorix livia).


Cocuzza, G.E.M., Mazzeo, G., Russo, A., Giudice V.L. and Bell, S. 2016. Pomegranate arthropod pests and their management in the Mediterranean area. Phytoparasitica 44: 393-409.

Holland, D., Hatib, K. and Bar-Yaakov, I. Pomegranate: botany, horticulture, breeding. Horticultural Reviews 35: 127-191.

Morton, J.F. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates. Creative Resource Systems, Inc. Winterville, North Carolina, USA.

Porath, R. (and 7 co-authors) 2005. Long storage of the pomegranate variety “Wonderful” by controlled and paralleled atmosphere. Alon Hanotea 59: 396-399.

Vardi, Y. and Silberstein, M. 2005. Development of IPM in pomegranates – 2005. Alon Hanotea 59: 394-395.