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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - September 07, 2009

From: Albuquerque, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native pomegranate in Albuquerque
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I don't know if they are now considered native or not but I am interested in planting Principia or Pomegranates in Albuquerque, windy and a mile high. Do I have a chance?

ANSWER:

We're sorry, we could find no reference to a plant named "Principia", either in our Native Plant Database nor by Googling. We can tell you the Punica granatum (pomegranate) is native to the Middle East, the Caucasus and Pakistan. Since the expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is limited to plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown, we can't give you much help. We did find this article by Julia F. Morton from Purdue University Horticulture Pomegranate. That article should help you with cold tolerance and suitable soils, and we can tell you from personal observation that the plant does not withstand wind very well. This USDA Plant Profile does not show pomegranate growing in New Mexico at all.
 

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