Pomegranates are centuries-old fruit, long the symbol of prosperity and abundance. Prized for the succulent arils inside the various colored leathery skin, pomegranates can be grown in USDA growing zones 8-10. If you are lucky enough to live within those regions, you may be wondering what pomegranate tree variety is best for you.
Pomegranate Tree Types
Some types of pomegranate fruit trees bear fruit with a rind of yellowish pink all the way up through the color spectrum to a deep burgundy.
Varieties of pomegranate come in not only different exterior hues, but they may have soft to hard arils. Depending upon what you plan to use them for, this may be a consideration when choosing a plant. For example, if you plan to juice the fruit, hard or soft doesn’t matter, but if you want to eat it fresh, softer is the more likely choice.
While pomegranates natural habit is that of a shrub, they may be pruned into small trees. That said, severe pruning may affect fruit set. If you wish to grow the plant as an ornamental, then this is not a consideration.
Pomegranate Tree Types
Of the pomegranate tree varieties, there are several that mature earlier, which are recommended for gardeners growing in the coastal regions of USDA zones 8-10 since summers are mild. Areas with long, hot dry summers can grow almost any type of pomegranate fruit tree.
The following are some of the varieties of pomegranate available but by no means a comprehensive list:
- Sienevyi has large, soft seeded fruit, sweet in flavor much like a watermelon. The skin is pink with dark purple arils. This is one of the most popular of the pomegranate tree types.
- Parfianka is another soft seeded variety with bright red skin and pink arils that are extremely juicy with a flavor akin to wine.
- Desertnyi, a soft seeded type with a sweet, tart, mild citrusy hint.
- Angel Red is soft seeded, very juicy fruit with bright red rind and arils. This is a heavy producer and a great choice for juicing.
- Sin Pepe, which means “seedless,” (also known as Pink Ice and Pink Satin) is also soft seeded with a flavor like fruit punch from its light pink arils.
- Ariana, another soft seeded fruit, does best in hot inland regions.
- Gissarskii Rozovyi is very soft seeded, mildly tart with both skin and arils a light pink.
- Kashmir Blend has medium-hard seeds. The rind is red with a yellowish-green tinge and tart to sour red arils born from a small size tree. Good fruit for cooking, especially for use with proteins.
- Hard seeded types are the best for juicing and include ‘Al Sirin Nar’ and ‘Kara Gul.’
- Golden Globe is a good choice for the coast, with softish arils born from bright red/orange blossoms that are prolific over a long season. Pomegranate types most suited for coastal regions (Sunset zone 24) are shorter season trees and are not recommended for warmer climates.
- Eversweet is a red rinded fruit with clear arils that do not stain. Eversweet may be a biennial bearer depending upon the region.
- Granada is sweet to lightly tart with dark red skin and fruit that is medium in size.
- Francis, hailing from Jamaica, is frost-sensitive with large sweet fruit.
- Sweet is a large fruiting variety with light red/pink pomegranates. Sweet is sweet, as its name implies, and is an early bearing, extremely productive variety that is also frost-sensitive.