The pomegranate /ˈpɒmɨɡrænɨt/, Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.
Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as well as the Himalayas in Northern India. Today, it is widely cultivated throughout Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, China, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, the drier parts of southeast Asia, the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, and tropical Africa. Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona for juice production.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February. In the Southern Hemisphere, the pomegranate is in season from March to May.
The pomegranate has been mentioned in many ancient texts, notably the Homeric Hymns and the Book of Exodus, and is valued by many cultures for its beauty. It has, in recent years, reached mainstream prominence in the commercial markets of North America and the Western Hemisphere.