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Punica is a small genus of fruit-bearing deciduous shrubs or small trees. The better known species is the pomegranate (Punica granatum). The other species, the Socotra pomegranate (Punica protopunica), is endemic to the island of Socotra. It differs in having pink (not red) flowers and smaller, less sweet fruit.

Pomegranate fruit.jpg
Punica granatum
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Lythraceae
Subfamily: Punicoideae
(Horan.) Graham, Thorne & Reveal
Genus: Punica

See text


Socotria G.M.Levin[1]

Although previously placed in its own family Punicaceae, recent phylogenetic studies have shown that Punica belongs in the family Lythraceae, and it is classified in that family by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.

The name is derived from the Latin word for the pomegranate, malum punicum, meaning "Carthaginian apple".[2]

Extant SpeciesEdit

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
  Punica granatum L. Pomegranate Iran to northern India
  Punica protopunica Balf. Socotran pomegranate island of Socotra (Yemen)


  1. ^ "Genus: Punica L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1998-06-02. Retrieved 2012-12-09.
  2. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. 3 M-Q. CRC Press. p. 2230. ISBN 978-0-8493-2677-6.
  • Graham, S. A., Thorne & Reveal (May 1998). "Validation of subfamily names in Lythraceae". Taxon. Taxon, Vol. 47, No. 2. 47 (2): 435–436. doi:10.2307/1223775. JSTOR 1223775.
  • Graham S. A.; Hall J.; Sytsma K.; Shi S. (2005). "Phylogenetic analysis of the Lythraceae based on four gene regions and morphology". Int. J. Plant Sci. 166 (6): 995–1017. doi:10.1086/432631.
  • Little S. A.; Stockey R. A.; and Keating; R. C. (2004). "Duabanga-like leaves from the Middle Eocene Princeton chert and comparative leaf histology of Lythraceae sensu lato". American Journal of Botany. 91 (7): 1126–1139. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.7.1126. PMID 21653468.