The pomegranate is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub in the family Lythraceae, subfamily Punicoideae, that grows between 5 and 10 m tall.
Pomegranate shrubs are one of the easiest fruits to keep since they are usually not affected by many pests or diseases. The fruits are full of antioxidants and thought to have many health benefits.
The pomegranate originated in the region extending from Iran to northern India, and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region. It was introduced into Spanish America in the late 16th century and into California by Spanish settlers in 1769.
The fruit is typically in season in the Northern Hemisphere from September to February, and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May. As intact sarcotestas or juice, pomegranates are used in baking, cooking, juice blends, meal garnishes, smoothies, and alcoholic beverages, such as cocktails and wine.
Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, the drier parts of southeast Asia, and parts of the Mediterranean Basin. It is also cultivated in parts of Arizona and California. In the 20th and 21st centuries, it has become more common in the shops and markets of Europe and the Western Hemisphere.