Encyclopedia > Pomegranate

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Myrtales
Family: Punicaceae[?]
Genus: Punica
P. granatum
P. proto-punica

Pomegranates originated in Persia and have been cultivated around the Mediterranean for centuries. The plant is a glossy shrub and the fruit, between an orange and a grapefruit in size, has a thick reddish skin and many seeds. The edible part is the seed pulp.

The acidic juice of pomegranates is used in Indian cookery; thickened and sweetened it makes grenadine syrup, used in cocktail mixing.

Pomegranates are a symbol of fertility because of their many seeds. In mythology, Persephone was condemned to spend time in the Underworld every year because Hades tricked her into eating six pomegranate seeds while she was his prisoner.

A pomegranate appears in the shield of the Spanish city Granada and the flag of Caribbean island Grenada.

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