Field Trials of 22 Pomegranate Cultivars in West Texas: A Preliminary Report
Annual Conference of ASHS
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is proposed as an alternative crop to pecan in west Texas due to its low water use, high tolerance to drought and salt stresses, and unique bioactive phytochemical profile in fruits. However, farmers are unfamiliar with this specialty crop, and little information is available regarding culture practice, fertilization requirement, and cultivar selection. A 19 × 19 m2 field plot with 22 pomegranate cultivars (‘Al-Sirin-Nar’, ‘Angel Red’, ‘Apseronski’, ‘Arturo Ivey’, ‘Ben Ivey’, ‘Carolina Vernum’, ‘Chiva’, ‘DeAnda’, ‘Early Wonderful’, ‘Kandahar’, ‘Kazake’, ‘Kunduzski’, ‘Larry Ceballos 1’, ‘ML’, ‘Mollar’, ‘Purple Heart’, ‘Russian 8’, ‘Salavatski’, ‘Spanish Sweet’, ‘Surh Anor’, ‘Utah Sweet’, and ‘Wonderful’), four plants per cultivar, was established at Texas AgriLife Research Center at El Paso in April 2015. Phenology data (bud sprout, bloom), fruit character, and brix value of mature fruits were collected. ‘Angel Red’ died to the ground in winter but re-sprouted in the spring in 2016. Of the remaining 21 cultivars, 65.5% of the trees in the field had late freeze damage in 2016 that was negatively correlated with the days to bud sprout (P < 0.0001; r2 0.6977). Pomegranate trees bloomed from April 2 to 23, 2016. ‘Surh Anor’ is an early bloom cultivar, whereas ‘Mollar’ is a late flower cultivar. The 22 pomegranate cultivars produced fruit with skin color from yellowish red, red, to dark red; aril color from light pink, pink, red, to dark red; seed from soft, medium, to hard coat. The averaged brix values of mature fruits of all pomegranate cultivars were 13.7% in 2015 and 16.7% in 2016. Field performance of the 22 pomegranate cultivars will be continuously observed in the coming years in order to identify the suitable cultivar(s) for commerical production in west Texas with high yield and high resistances to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Field Trials of 22 Pomegranate Cultivars in West Texas: A Preliminary Report. Annual Conference of ASHS, Hawaii, HI, 21 September 2017.