Friday, October 30, 2015

Pomegranates for Halloween Eve

 In 2007 I spent the summer living in a small village in Tuscany and sometimes used to take a ferry out to a little island in the middle of a largish lake.  There was nothing much on the island -- a few ruins and overgrown olive groves-- but pomegranate trees were in full crimson bloom among the ruins; and I still wonder why that shade of red between vermillion and crimson isn't called called 'pomegranate.'  If lemon yellow is a color, pomegranate deserves to be one too.  Please pass the pomegranate crayon.

These first two drawings are from my journal from that summer, and I can feel the sun and hear the bees and the lapping of the water against the little beaches and smell a sweet undetermined floral smell when I look at these rough sketches.

I like the sketches because they show the structure of the flowers and explain the structure of the fruit.
 You can see in the fruit at the bottom the odd six-sided opening at the top of the fruit, with its minute stamen threads and curled anthers.  Look at the six-sided flower top to the left and you can see the same opening during the time when the flower is open for pollination, only at that time the anthers and stamens are waving about and sticking out past the folded-back petals.

In the drawing at the top left you can see the swollen base of the flower, which is the multiple ovary container and turns into the vaguely six-sided fruit that's filled with all those seeds in their glossy gel.

Tomorrow:  inside the pomegranate for Halloween!


  1. I love your botanical explorations. This one is particularly fascinating. Living in the UK, I have never seen a pomegranate flower, but the next time I see the fruit for sale, I shall buy and paint it as well. I agree about the pomegranate crayon!

    1. Lucky you, Stella, to be so close to Tuscany! Next July head over to Isola Polvese in Lago Trasimeno near Cortona and Chiusi! You too can see pomegranite flowers in bloom!

    2. Wow. Thanks for that, Gwen. Just the excuse I needed to plan an Italian trip!