In the late dry season, around March, you might see 10-ft-tall (3m), slender-stemmed bushes graced with very bright red flowers a little over an inch broad (3cm), as shown on the next page. They're flowers of the Pomegranate, which Spanish speakers call Granada. They're Punica granatum, members of the Loosestrife Family, the Lythraceae, and native to the area of modern-day Iran and Iraq.

Pomegranate flowers

Those are curious flowers. At the right in the above picture you see the blossom's unusually large, leathery, red calyx subtending a somewhat larger, wrinkled corolla. At the left the corolla has fallen off leaving the calyx's interior walls bristling with pollen-producing stamens. In most flowers the calyx is small and green, plus normally stamens arise below the ovary or from the corolla's walls, not the calyx's walls.

Once the flowers' ovaries have matured a little we start seeing the form of our future pomegranate fruits, as shown below:

Pomegranate maturing ovaries

By late in the rainy season, in August or so, we begin seeing mature pomegranates such as those shown below:

Pomegranate fruit

Technically, pomegranate fruits are thick-skinned, several-celled berries, with seeds enmeshed in juicy pulp. It's the pulp you eat, which can be very sweet and juicy. The seeds are so soft that I just chew them, but I suspect that finicky folks spit them out.

Notice how the fruit bears a "crown" of 5-7 thick, leathery sepals. Sepals are the separate divisions of the usually green, leafy, cuplike calyx that resides below the corollas of typical flowers. Sepals usually wither and drop away as a blossom's ovary develops into a fruit, but pomegranates for some reason decided they needed those sepals, and made them big and tough.