This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.
Punica granatum ‘Wonderful’
Size: Shrub grows 15 to 20 feet tall; can be trained as tree.
Bloom season: Showy orange flowers with fleshy bracts in summer, ripen into five-inch red fruits.
Exposure: Full sun.
Pruning needs: Prune to shape and occasionally remove older stems to encourage new growth.
Water needs: Low; once established, water deeply once or twice a month.
Snapshot: This fruit variety lives up to its name. A longtime Mediterranean favorite, pomegranate is actually a large rounded, deciduous shrub – not a tree – with showy pendulous flowers followed by edible red fruit. The blooms, a favorite of bees, look like crinkled orange silk. The big red globular fruit hangs on the tree into late autumn. The glossy green foliage is attractive, too. In fall, it turns bright gold. “Wonderful” is the best known variety of edible pomegranate.
For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.