best tasting pomegranate

markintexas123January 31, 2008

I recall an article in CRFG about a year ago about a taste test in northern California. I can't find the article now. Does anyone have any special favorites for taste among the pomegranate cultivars? Any nurseries carrying unusual pomegranates? Thanks

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lucky_p

He's changed his website, but Richard Ashton, at Oak Creek Orchard used to have a good run-down of the dozen or so varieties he'd grown and fruited at his place. I'm thinking 'Parfianka' was one of the best.
Linked below is a list of nurseries offering pomegranate plants; you can also order dormant cuttings(they're easy to root) from the NCGR Punica collection at Davis.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pomegranates

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 10:00PM
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nullzero(9)

I just purchased 2 eversweet, 1 white, and 1 red silk pomegranates. The red silk seems to be the most vigorous one so far after planting. From what I heard the Red Silk has a really good classic pomegranate taste, with a good balance of acid and sugar. Raintree sells it however I bought mine from rolling hills nursey before they sold out. The best quality of the variety is its small size and high yield :) no latter needed to reach those high up poms.

From the Raintree Nursery Website.

RED SILK
"A dwarf pomegranate which will grow up to 6', just right for a patio pot! This UC Davis introduction is a heavy bearer of large fruit with red juice and a delicious grenadine flavor. It has a pleasing balance of acid and sweetness. USDA Zones 8-10"

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 10:29PM
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ashok_ncal(CA z9b)

Mark,

I don't have my back issues of the "Fruit Gardener" magazine on hand, but you probably read about one of the taste-tests at the Wolfskill Experimental Orchard (where the USDA pomegranate collection resides).

LuckyP is absolutely correct: as I recall, "Parfianka" has generally been at or near the top in the various tests that have been conducted over the past few years. Another cultivar that has done very well is "Pink Ice"/"Sin Pepe".

"Parfianka" is a member of the class of pomegranates with deep, dark coloration and a rich, acidic, vinous flavor. "Pink Ice", by contrast, is a good representative of the pink-fleshed, mild-tasting class of fruit. (It also has particularly soft seeds, a very nice characteristic.)

Many of the other recent top-ranked varieties are Central Asian cultivars with long, hard-to-remember Russian names. I'd have to look at plant tags to give you the precise names (I have some of these as recently-rooted cuttings, in pots), but it is dark and raining outside now, so that will have to await another time!

Bay Laurel Nursery has both "Parfianka" and "Pink Ice" for sale but (confusingly) under different names.

By the way, out of the perhaps twenty different pomegranate cultivars that I sampled at one of the Wolfskill tastings, I liked common-as-dirt "Wonderful" about as well as any!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 10:33PM
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ashok_ncal(CA z9b)

Nullzero posted as I was composing ... so I will add that "Red Silk" is one of the re-named varieties. It may actually be "Parfiaka", but I can't remember for certain.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 10:36PM
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nullzero(9)

I am looking forward to tasting red silk fruit hopefully soon in the future.

Here is some info inside the PDF on the new tasty pomegranate varities that I dug up online;

http://www.crfgsandiego.org/Newsletters/CRFG%20SD-Newsletter%20-Nov07.pdf

From what I read from the PDF, I believe the Red Silk is a version of the Sin Pepe? The Sin Pepe and Parfianka seem to get high praise on being the tastiest.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 11:02PM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

My daughter and I went to taste the pomegranates at Wolfskill Experimental Orchard last November 3, 2007. I used not to like pomegranates but the tasting won me over. It was the last tasting open to the public due to funding cuts.

Here's our notes:

By joereal at 2008-01-31

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 11:03PM
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ashok_ncal(CA z9b)

Joe,

Whoa, awesome response and chart ... although I am generally averse to clichés, in this case I feel compelled to award you a hearty "you're the man!"

A quick review of the above chart confirms that many of those cultivar names won't exactly trip off the tongue for most Americans. Still, some of them are very tasty!

(For Joe, off-topic: I have some capulin cherry scions cut and packaged for you, and I will try to put them in the mail tomorrow. The plants were *just* starting to come out of dormancy when I cut the material, so the scions will have to be grafted ASAP.)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 11:43PM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Thanks for the compliments Ashok! I can instantly graft anything you'll send me.

Beware of the scores that my daughter and I put together. It was just a couple of iterations. There was a soccer game in Winters (near the Wolfskill nursery) during that day so we have limited time during the taste. My primary purpose was for wine evaluation, and so you can see that not one of pomegranate cultivars have sufficient sugar for that purpose and must be chaptalized to make wine.

Also note that some of the cultivars will hve arils that eventually turn darker than what their current color scores were that day. So they were compared as they were harvested together and some may not be at their prime and some may have been past their prime harvest dates.

And lastly, most of these pomegranates when sold by various Nurseries, they come under different Trademarked names, so it is really confusing as to the origins of the real cultivars. Harvey Correia knows which of the popular pomegranate Trademarked names can be traced back to their original names in the germplasm. For example, DWN sells the trademarked pomegranate Garnet Sash which is actually Parfianka. Nonetheless, don't be scared of trademarked names, as you can see, the various companies may trademark any names they wish for a particular cultivar, but if their origin is not patented, like coming from taxpayer funded germplasms, by all means you can propagate them but not sell them under the same trademarked name. Patented cultivars are an entirely different issue, these you cannot propagate asexually. Most of the time, patented cultivars are also trademarked by the same company.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 12:59AM
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lucky_p

Joe,
Thanks for that great chart!
I'm pleased to see that 5 or 6 of the dozen or so varieties I'm trialing here rate 'very good' for fresh eating. Now, if only they could turn out to be winter-hardy enough to survive & fruit with a minimum of protection...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 10:31AM
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markintexas123

Wow, thank you for the excellent responses. I'm buying some land down in Brownsville and look forward to trying many cultivars. Thanks again, Mark

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 6:39AM
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fool4flowers(8)

Mark if you email me I will send you some cuttings of mine if you know how to root them and tell me how while your at it. I wish I had found this forum last fall.I have a huge tree that came with the house I bought and dont know what to do with it. Do they need to be pruned? It was loaded with flowers and fruit but they all split. Could have been from the flooding we had all summer. I don't know what the name of it is.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 5:27AM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

Does anyone know anything about Angel Red, this is a new one being offered this year and the only thing I can find out about it is it has more juice than other cultivars. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 6:22PM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Don't forget that it has more antioxidants as claimed by the patent holders.

Newly introduced, be reasonable, no one has the fruits yet. Shipment hasn't even arrived yet.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 9:05PM
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nullzero(9)

Anyone know where to get a Angel's Red pomegranate? I tried to order Angel Red through Willis Orchard Company until I got to check out.... They dont ship to CA.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 11:28PM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

You'll have to wait next year and order them from Bay Laurel Nursery in California. They get sold out pretty quickly. Their bare rooted Angel Red Pomegranate starts to be on sale in November or December.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 3:17AM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

They're also sold out from Bay Flora in Berkeley. You can contact them though by clicking on the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bay Flora Pomegranates

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 3:22AM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

Last time I looked they were available at Green Arrow Nursery in Mission Hills (San Fernando Valley/Los Angeles). I'll go over there today to see if there's any left.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 12:50PM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

Nope, sold out.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:26PM
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nullzero(9)

Darn I will have to wait till next year :(. I live in mission viejo havent checked many of the local nurseries in Orange County but I am doubtful they will have it in stock.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:10PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Just a note of clarification: I think the CFRG article cited above identifies "Sin Pepe" as either "Pink Ice" or "Pink Satin", rather than as "Red Silk".

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 11:20AM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Here's a very good reference from a fellow Pomegranate afficionado and friend, Harvey Correia of Correia Chestnut Farm

Thanks to Harvey for this excellent information:

Dave Wilson Nursery of the Central Valley in California furnishes many of the pomegranate plants sold by retail nurseries. The names of the pomegranate varieties they sell can lead to some confusion, however, as they have assigned marketing names (names of fabric) to cultivars. Here is a cross-reference to those held by the USDA repository. I will include Dave Wilson's name and then the actual entry Germplasm cultivar name.

Garnet Sash: 'Parfianka' (DPUN 0015) in 2006 and subsequent;

'Elf' (DPUN0090) 2005 and prior

Kashmir Blend: 'Sour' (DPUN0090)

Pink Satin: 'Sin Pepe', also know as "Pink Ice" (DPUN0082)

Red Silk: 'Crab' (DPUN0085)

Sharp Velvet: 'Purple Heart' (DPUN0056)

It is confusing with these different names but even more so since they switched what cultivar is being sold as Garnet Sash. In 2007 (and probably a bit beyond), old stock plants were one thing and younger plants were another. In addition, the current web page for Dave Wilson has a photo for Garnet Sash that does not appear anything like a ripe 'Parfianka'. I'm not familiar with 'Elf' so I don't know if the photo is of 'Elf' or just an immature 'Parfianka'.

As a side note, the USDA repository has a 'Parfianka' as DPUN0015 and a 'Parfyanka' as DPUN0124. I was under the impression from various readings that 'Parfyanka' was the correct spelling. However, our group member recently met with Dr. Levin (the Turken who sent their cultivars to the USDA) and he reportedly wrote that the correct spelling was 'Parfianka'.

I hope this helps those in the U.S. and doesn't confuse everyone else!

Best wishes,

Harvey

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 10:27PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Thanks Joe, its good to have this. I am thinking about trying some pomegranates and without this kind of "key" it is possible to get two trees from different nurseries and have it turn out they are the same variety. I have a little bit more data to add as well.

Favorite at One Green World is what they call lubimi which is Lyubimyi, DPUN 121, at NGPS. Lyubimyi means favorite in Russian apparently.

The "Russian" at Edible Landscaping is an unknown Russian variety which Michael says they should have an ID on in a few years.

Scott

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 9:52AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Nullzero: Hofman's nursery in Hanford, CA still has Angel Red (big plants, too). I think they are supplied by the wholesaler L.E. Cooke, so your local nursery may be able to order from them, if you're in the Western U.S. I think L.E. Cooke also supply Bay Laurel with this variety. Hofman's also have some of the Dave Wilson varieties this year.

Joe, thanks for the clarification on names.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 5:30PM
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altadenamara

San Gabriel nursery in San Gabriel had 5-7 Angel Reds when I was there today, but they were small plants, around 3 feet tall, bushy.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 10:05PM
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nullzero(9)

I may try to go to that nursery in San Gabriel, its about a 2hr drive with average traffic though... Hopefully I can find one Angel Red in orange county.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 12:55AM
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surfbreeze(9 TX)

Here in Texas I purchased an Angel Red at Caldwell nursery about 3 weeks ago. It is starting to leaf out, with the mild temps we have had lately.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 7:19AM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

For those within driving distance, Green Thumb Nursery in Canoga Park has about a half dozen Angel Red in 5 gal cans.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 6:47PM
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nullzero(9)

I picked up a Angel Red Pomegranate from Laguna Hills Nursery in Foothill Ranch, CA. For those in Orange County... they still had about 4-5 left.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 6:50PM
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rcnaylor(z7 Tex)

Hey Lucky, what kind of poms are you trying?

I have two "Russian Hardy" and/or Russian Giants that I am trying to get to survive here. I bought them in 2005 and have kept them in pots so far. I intend to plant them in the ground this year. Reports vary pretty wildly on how much cold they can take. This year our low here was 3 degrees. But, I've seen it down below zero in year's past. This warming trend seems to have me in more of a zone 7 - lately - than zone 6.

This is what the supplier said I got them from: "Dr. Chris Inhulsen, Montezuma, Ga., tested Russian & Iranian pomegranates and found they survived winters where the popular "Wonderful" variety killed to the ground. The plants were reported to take -6 degrees F once, and at Montezuma, GA., 8 degrees F. The fruits are larger than the store-bought "Wonderful" variety, and are very red in skin and seed. Zones 8-10."

My guess is that even if I can keep them going, I may not have a long enough growing season here for them to mature the fruit fully.

Anyone else have any experience with these?

I'm in Amarillo, Lucky you might recall I sent you some deeply lobed oaks.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:33PM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

i bought 2 of those russian poms from the same supplier last year. both have survived their first dallas winter. one's in the open, one on the s side of a building.

of course, dallas is warmer than amarillo, & its been a mild winter here.

i'm hoping for fruit this year, i'll see if our summers are long enough for them

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:38PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

RC, I just got one of the Russian ones from the same supplier (Edible Landscaping I presume; they are selling only one Russian one now). I recently asked Chris Inhulsen about them and he said his source was also the USDA; unfortunately he doesn't have the names of the varieties. I have a suspicion that it is Salavatski which Edible Landscaping is selling now, one of the most hardy ones at the USDA.

I agree that ripening could be a big problem, even worse for me than you guys.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 6:27PM
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rcnaylor(z7 Tex)

Thanks for the additional info Scott.

That is where I got mine from too.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 10:50PM
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rcnaylor(z7 Tex)

OH, and bhawkins, I have a few little fruit on the poms that have started growing inside already.

If the transplanting doesn't cause them to loose their fruit this year, I'll try to let you know how they turn out later this year.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 10:55PM
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loquat

Years ago I planted a pomegranate and the first crop produced very small fruit when ripe. The juice was excellent but what I liked most was the fact that the entire fruit was edible (sans skin) just like eating an apple. The seed pips and white pulp portions were not tough or astringent tasting.
Once the plant matured the fruits were just like store bought versions with tough, mouth puckering pulp and hard seeds that were inedible.

Does anyone know of a good tasting variety that remains fully edible, (seeds, pips, pulp) even after full maturity?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 5:38PM
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rcnaylor(z7 Tex)

Well, the update on the note I made above is that the transplanting did, in fact, cause them to shed their fruit. One of them re-fruited. But, of course, it won't have time to mature before our growing season is over here.

The fruit is about the size of a tennis ball now and green.

The good news is that they have grown strongly once planted.

I am just hoping for a mild winter low temperature wise to help get them through their first winter outdoor here.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 7:39AM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Enjoy:


By joereal at 2008-11-10

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 2:56PM
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Charlesmeyer6413_gmail_com

Mola Nepes looks like the best for fresh consumption. Where can I find an orchard of them?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 6:40PM
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tumbleweedranch

The Green Arrow at 8845 Sepulveda Blvd. , North Hills Ca. had eight Angel Reds all pruned to a single trunk. They were held over from last year, are approximately 6.5 feet tall and run $49.99 ea. After extensive searching, this is the only place in the Los Angeles area that had em ... Good people and a wonderful selection of plants. Today's date 02/26/15 ... :o)

    Bookmark   last Thursday at 1:29PM
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