Punica is a small genus of fruit-bearing deciduous shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Lythraceae. 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.

Punica granatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
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 Species

ImageScientific nameCommon NameDistribution
Punica granatum L.PomegranateIran to northern India
Punica protopunica Balf.Socotran pomegranateisland 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.