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Plant Profile: Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowiana aka Acca sellowiana)

Guave pineapple Feijoa sellowianaA native of subtropical South America, pineapple guava is an evergreen multistemmed shrub or small tree that is especially suitable for difficult places in warm climates. It is tolerant of heat, poor soil, maritime conditions and drought, although appreciates occasional irrigation during long dry periods. The oval leaves are dark gray-green with white undersides. The unusual flowers are about one inch across and feature a thick cluster of red stamens surrounded by fleshy pink and white petals that are edible. The egg-shaped green fruits are one to three inches long and have a delicious greenish white pulp that tastes of pineapple and mint. The fruits do not change color with maturity so harvesting when ripe is difficult. Fruit production is best in areas where winters provide some chilling and summers are moderate and long enough for fruits to form. If fruit is the primary concern, pick cultivars that are known to do well in your area. Plants may be espalier or pruned to form excellent hedges.

Type: Evergreen shrub or small tree

Outstanding Features: Flowers; fruit; drought tolerance

Form: Upright, rounded

Growth Rate: Slow

Bloom: Red cluster of stamens in center, surrounded by fleshy, edible pink and white petals; in spring/summer

Size: 15’ H x 15’ W

Light: Full sun to light shade

Soil: Average, dry to moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 8-10

Care: Low maintenance; respond well to pruning; flowering in new growth

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed; half-ripe cuttings in July and August

Outstanding Selections: All of the following are known for good fruiting:

    ‘Apollo’
    ‘Mammoth’
    ‘Smith’

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