Tropical Style

Ornamental vs. Fruit-Bearing Pomegranate Bushes

A fruiting pomegranate (Punica granatum) is usually too large to develop a container or for flanking a pavement, door or garden entry, however a smaller ornamental cultivar can fit nicely, demonstrating striking flowers, leaf and small pomegranates of varying colours. Both fruiting and ornamental cultivars can be increased in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11.


Drought-tolerant pomegranates favor an arid climate and have become naturalized within the whole Mediterranean region. They might be severely damaged if the temperature falls below 12 F. While fruiting cultivars might not tolerate pomegranates following a late spring frost, unseasonable cold charms are of less concern for cosmetic varieties that are grown mainly for their colorful flowers and leaf and never for their little, inedible pomegranates.


Fruiting pomegranate cultivars are curved shrubs or small trees that usually develop from 12 to 16 feet high, even though they can develop up to 20 or 30 feet high. Ornamental species are typically smaller, either dwarfs that grow up to 3 feet thick or tall shrubs that grow up to 6 feet tall. They are sometimes trained as bonsai.

Fruit Size and Colour

The deep pink to red pomegranates of fruiting varieties are generally from 2 1/2 to 5 inches wide. Ornamental cultivars yield smaller, pomegranates of varying colours that are of poor eating quality however add to shade to a patio or garden. These tiny pomegranates might be burgundy red, red yellow, light pink or deep orange.

Flower Color

Fruiting pomegranates typically produces pink or crimson flowers. The blossoms of ornamental cultivars often have a double row of petals and reveal a wider range of colors. The ornamental cultivars “Variegata” and “Mme. Legrelle” have scarlet petals streaked with yellowish-white. The dwarf “Chico,” less than 2 feet tall, returns orange-red blooms. “Taysho” has mild apricot-colored blossoms and both “Multiplex” and “Alba Plenta” yield white blossoms with double petals.


Pomegranate leaves are reddish-bronze when they emerge in the spring, turning green as they mature. They get striking yellow in autumn. While the leaf changes colours on both fruiting and ornamental cultivars, the leaves include more colour to the evolving cosmetic palette of blossoms and fruits.

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