Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Psidium guajava - Guava
Edible portion : Fruit, Seeds, Leaves, - Seeds-oil, Flowers, Roots
A small tree or shrub 8-10 m high. It is evergreen. It has smooth bark which is mottled. The bark peels off in smooth flakes. The plant branches close to the ground. The branches are four angled. Trees are shallow rooted. The leaves are opposite, dull green and somewhat hairy. They are oval and somewhat pointed at both ends. They are 15 cm long by 2-5 cm wide. The leaves have short leaf stalks. The flowers are white and showy and borne in loose irregular types of arrangements of one to three flowers. The petals are 1.5 to 2 cm long. Both self and cross pollination occurs due to insects. The flowers grow in the axils of leaves on new growth. The fruit are rounded and 4 to 5 cm long. They are green but turn yellow when ripe. The outer covering is firm and encloses a pink or nearly white sweet smelling edible pulp. This contains many seeds. It better selected varieties both the skin and the seeds are fully edible. Fruit vary from very acid to very sweet
A tropical plant. It is native to C and S America. Guavas thrive in both humid and dry tropical climates. They do best in sunny positions. They grow wild and are also cultivated. In Papua New Guinea it grows well from sea level up to 1600 m and occurs up to 1900 m. In Nepal it grows up to 1400 m altitude. It is killed by frost. They fruit better where there is a cooler season. Temperatures near 30°C give best production. They are very widely distributed in open places and secondary forests throughout the islands of the Philippines and Papua New Guinea and can become weedy under some conditions. They produce better in soils with good organic matter. They prefer a well drained soil but can stand some water-logging. A pH of 5 to 7 is suitable. It can tolerate a pH from 4.6-8.9. Trees cannot tolerate salty conditions. It does not do well on atolls. It can grow in arid places. An annual rainfall between 1,000-2,000 mm is best. It grows in Miombo woodland in Africa. It suits hardiness zones 9-12.