Punica granatum - L.
Pomegranate
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Punica granatum L. (TSN 27278)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.142106
Element Code: PDPUN01010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Other flowering plants
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Myrtales Punicaceae Punica
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Punica granatum
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), Florida (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Utah (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, FLexotic, LAexotic, UTexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Insignificant
I-Rank Reasons Summary: The Pomegranate, Punica granatum, has escaped from cultivation in a number of states where it is grown, including California, Utah, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and possibly in North Carolina. This species was introduced in the United States in 1769 by the Spanish settlers and brought into California. While it has been grown in the United States for centuries, it doesn't seem to escape from cultivation into conservation areas or native species habitats often as only one report was found that cited it in a park in California. This species does have several characters that allows it to naturalize and they are: a wide habitat range, the ability to sucker easily and it is self compatible (i.e. self pollination events occur often). Overall, this species has naturalized in several states, but does not seem to be a threat to biodiversity.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Insignificant
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Unknown
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Unknown
I-Rank Review Date: 25Mar2004
Evaluator: Oliver, L.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Punica granatum, the Pomegranate, is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India (California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. 2001).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: In the United States this species is known from outside cultivation in Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and possibly North Carolina (Kartesz 1999). It is also reported as natualized in California (Hickman et al. 1993).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Punica granatum, the pomegranate, has escaped from cultivation, but doesn't appear to have extensively invaded conservation areas or native plant habitats. It has been reported near Jack's Pond located in the city of San Marcos in northern San Diego County, California (Armstrong 2000). No other information was found citing this species in either conservation areas or native species' habitats.

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Insignificant
Comments: This species does not appear to be affecting abiotic ecosystem processes. It is only recorded in one conservation area, in California (Armstrong 2000) in the United States.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Insignificant
Comments: The pomegranate, is hardly known as an escapee from cultivation and only one report of this species in a conservation area was found (Armstrong 2000). Since it grows to be either a shrub or small tree (up to 20 or 30 ft), it could affect that layer, however, it doesn't appear to be invasive or dominant.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Insignificant
Comments: This species is barely known from outside cultivation, and has been reported in at least one park in California, where it was not reported as dominant (Armstrong 2000).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Unknown

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Insignificant
Comments: This species is naturalized in California where it was introduced, but is uncommon (Hickman et al. 1993). It has been reported from other states, but doesn't appear to be aggresive.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Insignificant

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Low significance
Comments: This species is spotty in the United States and only known from a few states. Currently it is known from Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and possibly in North Carolina (Kartesz 1999). This species is also known as an escape in California (Hickman et al. 1993), where it was introduced to the US (Welch).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Insignificant
Comments: This species does not seem to be having any negative affects on biodiversity as it is usually found in disturbed places (Welch et al. 1993, Hickman et al. 1993).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Low significance
Comments: This species is known from a few biogeographic units (TNC 2001). In Utah it has escaped in one county (Welsh et al. 1993), in California it is naturalized but uncommon(Hickman et al. 1993) and known only from conservation area in that state (Armstrong 2000), in Lousiana it is known from 11 counties (Thomas and Allen 1998), and the floras of the vascular plants of Florida do not mention this species. It is doubted that this species occurs outside of cultivation in North Carolina (Weakley draft data 2000).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Insignificant
Comments: This species was reported in one park in California near a pond, so it can invade riparian areas (Armstrong 2000).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Unknown

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Unknown
Comments: It is not clear if this species is spreading.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Punica granatum, pomegranate, is known to grow in a range of conditions. It prefers semi-arid, mild temperate to subtropical climates and is adapted to areas that have cool winters and hot summers (California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. 2001). It can withstand freezing temperatures, however, not below 12 degrees F. Also, it does grow in more humid climates, but these climates negatively affect fruit formation (California Rare Fruit Growers Inc. 2001). While there are other areas in the United States it could invade, it doesn't appear to be an aggresive invader, as it was introduced in 1769 (California Rare Fruit Growers Inc. 2001), but is only known outside of cultivation in a few states (Kartesz 1999).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Unknown

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Unknown

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Unknown

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Unknown

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Punica granatum is known to sucker easily; is long lived, however, its vigor declines after 15 years; and most often individuals pollinate themselves. Cross-pollination by insects does occur and increases fruit set (California Rare Fruit Growers Inc. 2001).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Unknown

17. General Management Difficulty:Unknown

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Unknown

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Unknown

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Unknown

Other Considerations: This species was brought into the United States by the Spanish in 1769 as they were setting up missions in California (California Rare Fruit Growers Inc. 2001).
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Armstrong, W. 2000. Plants of Jack's Pond a checklist of trees, shrubs and herbaceous species. Life Science Dept. Palomar College, California. Online at http://wayensword.palomar.edu/jackpond.htm

  • California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. 2001. Fact Sheet on Pomegranate Punica granatum L., Puniaceae. Online at http://wwwcrfg.org/pubs/ff/pomegranate.html. Accessed on 3/25/2004.

  • Hickman, J. C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1400 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Weakley, A.S. 2000. Flora of the Carolinas and Virginia: working draft of May 15, 2000. Unpublished draft, The Nature Conservancy, Southern Resource Office.

  • Welch, W. C. The Southern Garden, Pomegranate, Punica granatum. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Online at http://agiie-horticulture.tamu.edu/southerngarden/punica.html. Accessed 3/25/2004.

  • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins (eds.) 1993. A Utah flora. 2nd edition. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

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