Guave pineapple Feijoa sellowiana

A native of subtropical South America, pineapple guava is an evergreen multistemmed shrub or small tree in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, that also includes clove, allspice and eucalyptus. The plant grows up to 15′ tall and has oval leaves that are dark gray-green with white undersides. The unusual flowers appear from spring to summer. They 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. Pineapple guava is tolerant of heat, poor soil, maritime conditions and drought, although appreciates occasional irrigation during long dry periods. Plants may be espalier or pruned to form excellent hedges. The genus name, Feijoa, honors Portuguese botanist João da Silva Feijó  (1760-1824),. the specific epithet, sellowiana, honors the German botanist Friedrich Sellow (1798-1831) who collected plants in Brazil and Uruguay.

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: Many outstanding cultivars are available

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By Karen