Punica granatum L.
Synonym : Punica nana L.
Family : Punicaceae
Local Names : Mathalam, Mathalanaregam, Pomegranate
Flowering and fruiting period: March -
Distribution: Central & West Asia, West Himalaya, widely cultivated in East Himalaya, South Europe and Asia
IUCN status: Data Deficient
Uses: Fruits edible. All parts of the plant contain unusual alkaloids, known as 'pelletierines', which paralyse tapeworms so that they are easily expelled from the body by using a laxative. The juice of the flowers is used to treat nose bleeds. A decoction of the seed is used to treat syphilis. The dried rind of the fruit is used in the treatment of amoebic dysentery, diarrhoea etc. It is a specific remedy for tapeworm infestation. A red dye is obtained from the flowers and also from the rind of unripened fruits.
Key Characters: Tree or shrub, l.5-5 m tall. Leaves glabrous, oblong-lanceolate. Flowers scarlet red or white. Calyx indented slightly above the middle, reddish; lobes 5-7. Petals and stamens inserted at the throat of the calyx. Petals broadly obovate. Ovary subglobose, reddish; stigma simple. Fruit globose, pale red to scarlet. Seeds red or pink, testa thick, fleshy and juicy.