Pomona, or Pompona, is the Roman goddess of Plenty, particularly of fruit trees, gardens, and orchards. She is considered as a minor deity, and her attribute was the pruning knife. In some accounts, she was a wood nymph instead of a goddess.
Pomona lived in the forest between Rome and its port at Ostia, and it was her special duty to look after the fruit trees in a wood called Pomonal. She was so beautiful that she was courted by numerous deities of nature and the countryside, but she rejected them all, until Vertumnus convinced her that her indifference to love was a mistake, and then proceeded to reveal himself to her in his true form.
Pomona was the uniquely Roman Goddess of Plenty, and her special provinces were fruit trees, gardens, and orchards. Her name came from the Latin word "pomum", which meant fruit. Her festival, which she shared with her husband Vertumnus, fell on August 13.
Pomona was also one of the Numina - the Roman mythological guardian spirits who watched over people, homes, and special places. In essence, the Numina are the holy spirits of place, and the word "numinous" was derived from their term of address. As her name clearly reveals, Pomona watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for their cultivation, and even inspires the fertility of fruitful gardens and orchards. In fact, her special garden was said to be the most beautiful in the world.
Pomona also had her own priest in Rome, who was called the Flamen Pomonalis, as well as her own sacred grove called the Pomonal, which was located not far from Ostia, the ancient port of Rome.
In Roman mythology, the story of Pomona revolved around how, despite her initial indifference to the ways of love, she grew to fall in love with and even marry Vertumnus, the God of Seasonal Change and Plant Growth.
Percy Jackson sees a bronze statue of Pomona during the Battle of Manhattan and mistakes her for the Greek goddess Demeter, making her react in indignation - her statue angrily threw metal apples at Percy, declaring that she was on the side of the Titans as the minor deities do not have proper recognition.
In mythological texts, Pomona was described to wear only a brown gown and a wreath of leaves on her head to shield her face from the sun. However, she was still so beautiful that she attracted numerous suitors, to the extent where she had to barricade herself in her own private orchard.
Pomona presumably possesses the standard powers of a goddess.
- Chlorokinesis: As the Goddess of Plenty, Pomona has divine authority and absolute control over plants, but to a lesser degree than Ceres. Examples of abilities she derived from this province are:
- Karpokinesis: As the Goddess of Fruit, Pomona has divine authority and absolute control over fruit, but to a lesser degree than Ceres.
- Horticulture: In Ovid's Vertumnus and Pomona, Pomona was described to be an incomparable botanist, especially in the art of pomology - she knew how to make fruit trees grow comfortably and properly, and could even make them bear more than one kind of fruit.
- Wall Generation: Pomona had the ability to create walls that even other deities could not breach - to fend off unwanted divine suitors, she once built an impenetrable wall around her private orchard, and only she alone could open the gates of the wall.
- Pomona does not have a Greek counterpart (along with Janus, Terminus, and Bellona). However, she's sometimes connected with Carpo, a Greek goddess of harvesting.
- She was particularly associated with the blossoming of trees rather than with the harvest.
- Pomona is also another word for mainland in Orkney.
- According to her statue she is often mistaken for Demeter.
- Pomona is also the seventh largest city in Los Angeles County, California, which was named after her.
- Her name is from the Latin word "pomum", which meant fruit.
- Pomona was one of the only two Roman deities to appear in the first series - the other one being Janus. However, she appeared only as an automaton.