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    Pomegranate

Below is an extract from a pollination research paper prepared by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).  To download the document, simply click on the image on the left of this screen.

The presence of both male (unfertile) and bisexual (fertile) flowers on the pomegranate allow it to be self-pollinated as well as cross-pollinated.  Several studies have shown that cross-pollination results in around about 20% increase in fruit set as well as an increase in overall fruit quality (Derin and Eti 2001).  Because of its heaviness, there is very little wind dispersal of the pollen and thus insects are mostly responsible for the transport of pollen between flowers. 

There is little quantitative data available with regard to the efficiency of honey bees in the pollination of pomegranate; however, McGregor (1976) states that growers in California arrange for honey bee colonies to be placed in or near their fields, believing that their presence benefits pomegranate fruit production.  Derin and Eti (2001) describe the honey bee as the principal pollinator of pomegranate.  In addition, the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia (2005) also suggest that 10% of pollination in pomegranate can be attributed to honey bees.

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