Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Destination Trees: Ashikaga Flower Park - Japan

Destination Trees: Ashikaga Flower Park - Japan: Japan’s largest wisteria located in Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan, is certainly not the largest in the world, but it still measures in at an...

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Kentucky Coffeetree - Gymnocladus dioicus

The Kentucky Coffeetree -(Gymnocladus dioicus) -  is a deciduous medium sized tree with large, coarse, wide hanging pods that are red-brown when ripe.  It is best distinguished by it's large leaflets, large flowers, scaly bark and inflated fruit.  At maturity it can reach 18-30 m tall and grows in an erect single trunked, with a low branching habit.  The crown of the Kentucky Coffeetree is usually narrow or broad, pyramidal or rounded in shape.  It is a member of the Fabaceae (Bean) Family and included in the very small Gymnoclaudus genus which only contains 2 species (the other is native to China).

The leaves are large up to  30 inches long, divided into pairs of opposite side stalks with 6-14 oval leaflets on each stalk. The flowers are greenish-white growing in large upright clusters at the ends of each twig.  The bark is a reddish brown that becomes gray and irregularly fissured with age.  The twigs are stout and reddish brown in color and hairy only when immature.  The fruit is a tough, hard, inflated, red to brown woody legume that ranges in size from 15-25 cm long and 4-5 cm broad.  Each woody legume contains 4-7 seeds that are hard coated and nearly round in shape.

The Kentucky Coffeetree grows in moist places, floodplains, riverbanks, bases of ravines and valleys.  It is found in the Central and Eastern United States from New York and Massachusetts in the North, North Dakota in the West, Georgia, Alabama and Eastern Texas in the South.  It is naturalized and planted as an ornamental further East.  It grows best in rich, light soils.  This species is unusually free of fungus, parasites and insect infestations.  It is recorded that early settlers roasted the fruit of the Coffeetree for use as a coffee substitute, this is believed to be a possible origin of it's common name.

Image Citations (photos 1, 2 & 3): Jason Sharman, Vitalitree, Bugwood.org (Node Affiliation: International Society of Arboriculture)

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Meet The "Smoketree" (Cotinus coggygria)

The Smoketree - Cotinus coggygria -  is a small deciduous tree and a native of the wooded hills above the Mediterranean.  Named for it's blooms of wispy filaments in either pink or cream that look like poofs of smoke radiating from the trees branches.   In some areas the tree is nicknamed the Mist Tree, Cloud Tree or even Jupiter's Beard.  It is a relatively low maintenance shrub/small tree classified as an ornamental.   With a max height of 10-15 ' tall and a spread of 12 ', the Smoketree grows at a medium rate of just 12-24 inches per year.

In addition to it's smoky filaments this tree also produces flowers from June to September that are not very noticeable they are yellow-pink to plain pink in color and are often hidden by the wispy hairlike filaments.  The leaves are small 1 1/4 to 4 inches long and a pretty blue green in color in season, changing yellow, purple and red in the fall.  When crushed the branches and leaves have an almost citrus smell often compared to an orange.

Image Citation:(1&2) The Dow Gardens Archive, Dow Gardens, Bugwood.org 

Introduced in the America's in the mid 1600's, this tree makes for an interesting addition to any home/commercial landscape and is recommended for hardiness zones 5-8.  It is not particular when it comes to soil types and can handle both wet soil and semi drought conditions with ease.  This variety has been naturalized in ranges North of the American Smoketree from Illinois, Ohio, Maryland on North through Ontario and Vermont.  It is cultivated in the South as a specimen tree and is often found more often then the American Smoketree in this application.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Sweet Birch or Cherry Birch (Betula lenta)

The Sweet Birch or Cherry Birch (Betula lenta) is most easily recognized by the combination of fine and sharply toothed leaf margins, winter green scent, scales on the conelike fruit and dark brown almost black bark.  It is a deciduous tree that can reach heights up to 65 feet, but usually does not exceed 3.5 feet in diameter.  The tree grows in an upright form with a generally single eract straight trunk and a rounded crown.  The Sweet or Cherry Birch is native to the United States.  It prefers rich, moist soil, cool forest areas, mountain slopes, Appalachian hardwood forests.  It can be found naturally occuring from New York and Maine in the North to Northern Georgia, Alabama and Central Mississippi in the South.  It is not often confused with the closely related Yellow Birch as the bark is significantly different in not only color but texture as well (Yellow Birch has a yellowish exfolliating bark).

Image Citation: Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org

The bark of the Sweet/Cherry Birch is a dark gray brown to brown black in color, it is smooth when young becoming furrowed with age.  The twigs exude a winter green aroma and taste when scraped or injured.  The leaves are alternate, simple, paperlike in texture, obvate and and heart shaped at the base.  The leaf margins are finely and sharply toothed.  The upper surface is a dark green while the lower surface is a more pale green.  The flowers occur in make and female catkins, the male are reddish brown and 7-10 cm long, while the female are pale green and 1.5-2.5 m long both occur in the late Spring.  The fruit is a winged samara born in a scaly erect egg shaped structure that matures in late Summer or early Fall.


Image Citation: Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Dotted Hawthorn (Crataegus punctata)

The Dotted Hawthorn (Crataegus punctata) is a small deciduous tree that grows to heights of around 30 feet at maturity.  It generally grows with a single erect trunk with branched throns and a broad flat topped crown.  It is native to the North Eastern United States from NB to Minnesota in the North through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina in the South.  The Dotted Hawthorn generally forms large colonies and is one of the more common Hawthorns found in the Northeast.  

Image Citation: T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

The Dotted Hawthorn is best identifed by it's dull green leaves and indented veins, pale ashy bark and spotted pommes.   The pale ashy bark is grey and has plate like scales,  The branches are a pale grey and are covered in grey thorns that are between 2-8cm long. The leaves are alternate simple and obvate or elliptic in shape, thin and firm with 7-10 pairs of lateral veins that narrow at the base.  The upper surface is a dull green and hairy when young.  The flower is 13-20 mm in diameter with white circular petals surrounding around 20 stamens.  The flowers appear in early Summer season.  The fruit is a red, burgundy or yellow pome that matures in early Fall.

Image Citation: T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

Image Citation: T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The American Snowbell - (Styrax americanus)

Meet the "American Snowbell" - (Styrax americanus)

The "American Snowbell" - Styrax americanus - is a deciduous shrub/small tree that is native to the Southeastern United States.  It ranges in height from 6-10 feet with some even reaching heights of 15 ft in ideal conditions.  It is native to damp woods areas, swamps, marshes, flood plains and stream/river banks, sometimes growing even in standing water.  Primarily found in the Southeastern protions of the U.S. from Florida to Eastern Texas and North along the coastal plains to Virginia and up the Mississippi valley to Southeastern Missouri, up the Ohio valley to Southern Illinois and Southern Indiana.  

The American Snowbell has showy and fragrant white bell shaped pendulous flowers that average 1/2 inch long.  These flowers bloom from April to late May or early June (depending on the area) either singularly or in clusters of 2-4.  There are five reflexed petals in each flower.  The leaves are elliptic to oval in shape and range from dark to medium green in color.  the top side of the leaves have a slight sheen to them and the undersides are a more dull grey green.

Image Citations (Photos 1, 2 & 3): Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org 

The American Snowbell is recommended for zones 6-8.  It makes for a beautiful addition to any wooded landscape.  It prefers full sun to partial shade and moist soil.  It has a rounded shape and showy flowers that not only add interest, but also attract butterflies.  There are not any serious pests or diseases that effect this shrub/tree.  It is propagated by both seed and cuttings.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

The Peach - Prunus persica

Eat A Tree?: The Peach - Prunus persica: The Peach - Prunus persica is most easily identified by its distinctive fruit and long narrow leaves.  It is a small deciduous tree that on...

Friday, May 20, 2016

The American Plum - Prunus americana

The American Plum - Prunus americana is best recognized by the combination of flaking scaly bark, sharply toothed leaf margins and red or yellow fruit.  It is a deciduous shrub or small tree that is capable of reaching heights of around 25 feet.  Generally it grows in an erect form with a single trunk, the young shoots are often thorn tipped.  

Image Citation: Vern Wilkins, Indiana University, Bugwood.org

The bark is smooth and reddish brown with horizontal lenticels that becomes tan, buff or grey with age.  The leaves are alternate, simple, elliptical, and oblong with a rounded base.  They are green in color with a hairless upper and lower surfaces, and blades that are 4-12 cm long.  The flower is generally 20-25 mm in diameter with 5 petals.  Generally the flowers are white in color and may become pink with age, they appear in Mid Spring to Early Summer.  The fruit is a rounded or ellipsoid, red, orange, or yellow drupe.  The fruit appears in late summer and is often glaucous with a white waxy blush on the surface.  

Image Citation: Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org

The American Plum is native throughout the Eastern United States and continuing West through the Rocky Mountain region.  It prefers rich, moist, loamy soils, open woods, woodland margins, fence line and stream banks.  American Plum is sometimes considered to be thicket forming in woodland areas, though it is believed these thickets are formed by seedlings rather then root suckers.  American Plum can be found at most nurseries in the native region.  Currently there are over 260 varieties that have been developed from the American Plum which greatly improve the reach of it's growth range.
Image Citation: T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Meet the Golden Shower - Cassia fistula

The Golden Shower - Cassia fistula is a deciduous tree that reaches heights of 65 feet on average.  It grows in a single erect form with branching at the ground with ascending branches.  It was originally introduced from Southeast Asia and is cultivated in warmer climates and naturalized very sparingly in Florida.  There are three species of Cassia that are reported to occur in Florida but none are considered to be naturalized, they include The Pink Shower (Cassia grandis), African Pipe Cassia (Cassia afrofistula) and Pink Shower/Apple Blossom (Cassia javanica).  The Genus Cassia once included many more plants that have since been divided into three different genera, Cassia, Chamaecristaand Senna.  Cassia are a member of the Fabaceae (Bean/Pea Family) which is made up of 730 genera and over 19,000 species, it is the third largest plant family in the world outnumbered only by the Asteraceae (Sunflower) and Orchiaceae (Orchid) families.
Image Citation: Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
The Golden Shower is easily identified by the combination of evenly compounded leaves, large leaflets and very showy yellow flowers.  The bark is grey and smooth, becoming more rough and dark with age.  The leaves are alternate, pinnate and divided into an even number of leaflets.  The flowers are bisexual, 3-6 cm in diameter, with 5 petals that are pale or bright yellow.  The flowers occur in Spring to Summer.  The fruit is narrow, cylindrical, lustrous, dark brown legumes that are 30-60 cm long.  The fruit matures in Summer to Fall.  
Image Citation: Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla)

The Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) is most easily recognized by it's very large leaves, flowers and cone like fruit.  It is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 60 feet.  The Bigleaf Magnolia has a single erect trunk with a pyramidal shaped crown and spreading branches.  It is native to moist, rich woodlands and slopes from Louisiana to Georgia in the south and Southern Indiana to West Virginia in the North.  This species is also cultivated outside of it's native range for ornamental purposes.  The Ashe's Magnolia is similar in appearance but the native ranges do not overlap.  

The bark of the Bigleaf Magnolia is pale grey or yellow-brown, smooth or lightly bumpy with inconspicuous plates.  The leaves are bourne in whorl like clusters that occur near the branch tips.  They are simple obvate to broadly elliptical, wider around the middle.  The upper surface is dark green and hairless while the lower is surface is white chalky and hairy.  The flowers are fragrant, showy, creamy white in color, with a purple blotch at the base.  The fruit is a cone like aggregate of folicles that are round or slightly egg shaped, red when aged and splitting to reveal orange-red seeds that are 10-12 mm long.  The fruit matures in late summer. 

Image Citations (Photos 1 & 2): Amy Gilliss, Arundel Tree Service, Location-Mingo County, West Virginia

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Golden Chain Tree - Laburnum anagyroides (Golden Rain)

The Golden Chain Tree - Laburnum anagyroides (Golden Rain) is a small deciduous ornamental tree that reaches heights of 30-35 feet tall at maturity.  The Golden Chain grows in a erect, slender form with slightly dropping limbs.  It was native to Europe but has been long cultivated in the United States, common in landscapes along the East Coast especially in Massachusetts, but much more widespread in the West.  Laburnum, commonly called Golden Chain, is a genus of two species of small trees in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae.

Image Citation:  T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

The leaves are alternate, palmately compound with either 3 ovate or broadly lanceolate leaflets. The flowers are bright yellow in color and are generally 1.5-2 cm long each growing in long, loose, pendant shaped clusters that can range from 10-40 cm long.  The fruit is a slightly hairy plump brown legume that is constricted between the seed compartments.  

Image Citation:  T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

The wood from the Laburnum family has been used in woodworking, cabinet making, instrument production.  The heartwood is often used as an alternative to ebony or rosewood because of the dark yellow-chocolate coloring.  All parts of the Golden Chain are poisonous, symptoms can include sleepiness, vomiting, convulsive movements, coma, slight frothing of the mouth and unequally dilated pupils. In some cases, diarrhea can be very severe.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Meet the Glossy Privet - Ligustrum lucidum

The Glossy Privet (Ligustrum lucidum) is best recognized by it's shrubby growth habit and lustrous v shaped leaf blades, large inflorescence and clusters of blue to black drupes.  The Glossy Privet is a large sized shrub or small tree that can reach heights of up to 20 feet tall.  It generally has multiple trunks, a vase shape and arching or drooping branches.  The Glossy Privet was introduced from Asia and established from cultivation throughout the Southeastern Coastal Plains from South Carolina to Central Florida, West through Eastern Texas.  

Image Citation: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

The leaves of the Glossy Privet are opposite, simple, thick and leathery often v shaped with a narrowly elongated tapered point.  The upper portions of the leaves are dark green and hairless, the lower surface is pale and slightly duller in sheen.  The flower is small, white with a slightly greenish hint, tubular with four petals born in conspicuous branching panicles.  The flowers are notably fragrant and are attractive to many pollinators.  The fruit is a blue to black drupe 4-8 mm long that matures in late Summer to early Winter.  

Image Citation: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Privets grow at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year. They prefer full sun or partial shade, a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day. The Privet grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam and well-drained soils.  The Japanese Privet is similar in appearance and is sometimes confused with the Glossy Privet.  The easiest way to decipher between the two is the leaf size which is less then 10 cm on the Japanese Privet and greater then 10 cm on the Glossy Privet.  

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Meet the Carolina Ash - Fraxinus caroliniana

The Carolina Ash - Fraxinus caroliniana, is most easily identified by it's multi-trunk growth habit and rhomboid or diamond shaped samara.  This Ash is a small deciduous tree that reaches heights of between 8-45 feet tall witha leaning, clumping form, short trunks and an open crown.  It is native to the United States in swamps, woodlands, floodplains, river-stream banks and even in standing water along the Coastal Plains of Southeastern Virginia through Florida, continuing West through Arkansas and Texas.  It is very closely related to the others species within the Water Ash group which is sometimes considered to be it's own family separate from the rest of the Ashes.  

Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

The bark is grey or pale grey and often blotchy in appearance.  The leaves are opposite and pinnately compoundcontaining 5-7 leaflets each.  The terminal leaflet is most often rounded.  The upper surface of the leaves are a dark green while the lowers are pale in comparison.  In the fall the leaves turn a dingy or dirty yellow color.  The fruit is a samara that is 35-46 mm long, 12-22 mm broad and generally diamond shaped witha wing originating at or below the base of the seed body. 

Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Devil's Walking Stick -Aralia spinos

The Devil's Walking Stick -Aralia spinosa is best known for it's prickly trunk, umbrella form, and bi-pinnate or tri-pinnate leaves. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree that only reaches heights of only 30 feet tall. It is a member of the Ginseng family (Araliaceae). The main trunk is erect with a single trunk with little or very few ascending branches, the leaves are spreading and grouped near the top of the plant. It is considered to be invasive or annoying by many landowners and gardeners as the plant "pops" up at will and is often hard to kill without grinding out the root system. The Devil's Walking Stick propagates with a rhizomatous root system that extends just below the ground to create a cluster of plants in loose congregation. The individual stems are ramets, or clones, of the singular parent.   It is often times also called Hercules Club, Prickly Ash, Angelica Tree, Toothache Tree, Prickly Elder, Pigeon Tree, Pick Tree, Mississippi Hoe Handle, or Shotbush depending on the region.  

Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Devil's Walking Stick was also for medicinal purposes by the Native Americans and Colonial Americans.   A decoction of the bark was used to break a fever by increasing perspiration and for intestinal discomfort because of its emetic and purgative properties. The roots were mashed and cooked down to make a topical treatment that was used to treat boils and other skin irritations. Colonial Americans, notably those of African descent, used a similar topical treatment after a snakebite. The water used to boil the roots to craft topical treatments was also retained to treat eye irritations.  Devil's Walking Stick is mildly toxic if ingested in sufficient quantities.  The toxins are concentrated in the seeds of the berries and can cause gastrointestinal disturbances both mild and severe depending on amounts ingested.  There is some theory that Devil's Walking Stick has been the cause of livestock poisoning.   In spite of the soft and weak properties of the wood, it has been used to craft small boxes, picture frames, pens, and rocking chairs arms. The stems if cut in the early Spring can be stripped of their thorny external skin and made into plant stakes and ironically walking sticks.  It was planted as an ornamental in English gardens during the late 19th Century as a contrarious gesture to conformity as it has a natural appearance that is in no way formal. Today it is not sold or marketed as an ornamental as it is not an ideal planting for any landscape other then a natural one, if planted it is used mainly in reforestation areas. 

Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

The Devils Walking Stick is native to woodland areas, undisturbed lands, thickets, bogs and pine margins from Maine to Central Florida in the East and Missouri to Eastern Texas in the West. It is generally found between 0-1500 meters in elevation. There are only two non-native tree sized species of Aralia that are naturalized in North America, The Japanese Angelica Tree and The Chinese Angelica Tree, both are similar in appearance but not necessarily in size.  The bark of the Devils Walking Stick is brown, smooth with slightly rough sections that bear obvious prickles that are very painful when making contact with the skin. The branches are stout, prickly and often have large encircling leaf scars. The leaves are alternate, bi-pinnate or tri-pinnate, compound, with triangular blades, numerous leaflets and a short stalk. The leaves are dark green on the upper surface and pale green on the lower, in the fall the leaves change to a rust or bronze color.   The flowers are made up of tiny white petals and sepals, five of each, inflorescence and a large terminal compound panicle. The flowers appear in the early Summer. The fruit is round, 5 stoned purple-black, or lavender drupe that is 5-8 mm long and matures in the Fall.

Image Citation ( 2 Photos- Trunk/Stem and Fall Leaves): Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

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Friday, May 6, 2016

The Silktree / Mimosa - Albizia julibrissin

The Silktree - Albizia julibrissin is most commonly known as the Mimosa.  It is most easily recognized by the combination of bipinnate leaves and pinkish inflorescence.  It is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 50 feet tall and generally has a single erect trunk that lead to several low large ascending branches with an umbrella like spreading crown.  

Image Citation: Lesley Ingram, Bugwood.org

The bark is light grey in color and either smooth or slightly rough.  The leaves are alternate, bipinnate, with 5-15 evenly paired segments with 13-35 pairs per segment.  The upper surface of the leaves are a yellow green in color, with the under size is paler and lightly hairy.  The flowers on the Silktree are bisexual, radially symmetric and produced in a showy head that is 4-6 cm in diameter.  The center of each flower is surrounded by long filaments of pink and white which make up the showy portions of the inflorence.  The fruit is a flattened legume, yellow to brown in color about 15 cm long with evident flat seeds.  The fruit matures in late summer through Fall.

Image Citation: Lesley Ingram, Bugwood.org
Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

Originally from Asia, the Silktree (Mimosa) is now established across much of the Eastern United States from New York in the North through Florida in the South, West through Missouri and in portions of California.  It is considered to be invasive in many areas of the United States because of it's tolerance level and ability to grow in not very ideal locations.

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Meet the Wild Olive, Osmanthus americanus - Devilwood Tree

The Wild Olive, Osmanthus americanus is also called the Devilwood tree.  Most commonly recognized by it's dark green leathery opposite leaves small white flowers, and olive like fruit.  The Wild Olive is a small evergreen tree or shrub that reaches heights upwards of 50 feet.  Generally the tree form grows with one single trunk while the shrub form may have multiple trunks and a more bushy shape.  The named Devilwood is thought to be given because of it's very hard wood which is "devilish" to woodworkers.  

Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

The bark fo the Wild Olive is Grey or Red-Grey when young becoming rough, scaly and Red-Brown with maturity.  The leaves are opposite, glossy, leathery, oblong and occasionally notched.  The upper surface of the leaves are lustrous and hairless dark green in color, while the underside is a paler green.  The flowers are unisexual, with the male and female flowers appearing on different trees.  Flowers are small creamy white with four petals and a fused tube.  Male flowers contain 2 stamens and are produced in short axillary panicles.  The fruit is oval or ellipsoid in shape, similar to that of a common olive, containing one seed.  The dark purple to black fleshy fruit matures in Summer to Fall.

Image Citation: Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

The Wild Olive is native to coastal dunes, sand hill and upland woods area up to 150 meters above sea level.  It can be found from South Eastern Virginia along the East Coast through Florida and along the Gulf Coast into small portions of Louisiana and Texas.  
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Pomegranate - Punica granatum

The Pomegranate - Punica granatum, is most often distinguished by the spiny branches, opposite clustered leaves, large showy flowers and very unique fruit.  It occurs in a deciduous shrub or small tree form, with a single short trunk and rounded crown that reaches an average height of only 8-25 feet tall.  The bark is brownish gray with thin smooth bark that becomes rougher with age.   The young twigs are angled at first but become rounded with maturity.  The leaves are simple, opposite, elliptic, oblong and clustered with a narrowly wedged shaped base and a blunt tipped point.  The upper surface of the leaves are a lustrous deep green with a pale underside.  The flowers are bisexual with fused sepals that form a tube, they are fleshy, reddish with 5-9 petals that are red, orange, yellow or white.  The flowers appear in late spring to summer.  

Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
The fruit from the Pomegranate is rounded red, red-yellow, or red-brown with a white leathery berry that is 5-12 cm in diameter.  The fruit matures in the Fall.  Pomegranates are grown for both ornamental and food purposes and have been for centuries, the fruit is even mentioned in both the Bible and Quran.  It is said that the calyx on the fruit was even the inspiration for King Solomon's crown.  
Image Citation: USDA ARS Photo Unit, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

The Pomegranate originated in the region that is known today as Iran and cultivated since ancient times throughout the entire Mediterranean region.  It was introduced to first Spanish America in the late 16th century and later into California and Arizona.  Today it is cultivated and sparingly established in some of the Southern United States from North Carolina to California.  It is also widely cultivated throughout the Middle East, North Africa, tropical portions of Africa, Central Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and India.  Recently it has begun to appear in European and and the Western Hemisphere.

Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

The fruit has been used for centuries in many different cuisines.  It is used for juices, sauces, as a spice (flavoring), or a topping for desserts or soups.  The seeds of the Pomegranate provide 12% of your daily value of Vitamins C, 16% of your value vitamin K and 10% daily value of folate, they are also an excellent source of dietary fiber at 20% of the daily value (this is entirely contained in the edible seeds).

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