|Guava - Psidium guajava L.|
Psidium guajava, Guava fruit bought and photographed in Taiwan
Red guava Psidium guajava
Psidium guajava (Guava). Fruit in half. Olinda, Maui, Hawaii
Psidium guajava (Guava)
Leaves and bark. Iao Tropical Gardens of Maui, Maui, Hawaii
Psidium guajava (Guava). Leaves. Lowes Garden Center Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
Psidium guajava, fruit forming
Psidium guajava, guava
Psidium guajava (fruit) Maui, Makawao
Psidium guajava (Guava).Habit Olinda, Maui, Hawaii
Tronco da árvore de Psidium guajava
Guavas, photographed in Bangalore
Guava at a fruit stall in Pasar Baru, Jakarta, Indonesia
Guava, the juicy, pink, sliced fruit in the center, is high in antioxidants
India, Koyambedu Market
Fruit vendor selling guavas at Laad Bazar near Charminar, Hyderabad
Estancia La Carlota Corrientes
Psidium guajava L.
Guava, guajava, guayaba, jambu biji (Malay), bayabas (Philippino), trapaek sruk (Cambodian), farang, ma-kuai and ma-man (Thai), and oi (Vietnamese) 1
Guajava pumila (Vahl) Kuntze; G. pyrifera (L.) Kuntze; Myrtus guajava (L.) Kuntze; M. guajava var. pyrifera (L.) Kuntze; Psidium angustifolium Lam.; P. cujavillus Burm.f.; P. cujavus L.; P. fragrans Macfad.; P. guajava var. cujavillum (Burm.f.) Krug & Urb.; P. guajava var. guajava; P. guajava var. minor Mattos; P. guava Griseb.; P. igatemyense Barb.Rodr.; P. igatemyensis Barb. Rodr.; P.intermedium Zipp. ex Blume; P. pomiferum L.; P. pomiferum var. sapidissimum (Jacq.) DC.; P. prostratum O.Berg; P. pumilum Vahl; P. pumilum var. guadalupense DC.; P. pyriferum L.; P. pyriferum var. glabrum Benth.; P. sapidissimum Jacq.; P. vulgare Rich.; Syzygium ellipticum K.Schum. & Lauterb. 7
Cattley (Strawberry) guava (Psidium cattleianum), Costa Rican Guava (P. freidlichiana), Brazilian guava (P. guineense), feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana), jambolan (Syzygium jambolanum), Malay apple (S. malaccense), Java apple, wax jambu (S. samarangense), water apple (S. aqueum), rose apple (S. jambos), Surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora), grumichama (E. brasiliensis), pitomba (E. luschnathiana), and jaboticaba (Myciaria cauliflora) 1
Guava is indigenous to the American tropics
Fruit; landscape specimen; hedge
20 ft (6.1 m)
Broad, spreading or upright 1
Arborescent shrub or small tree 3
Very quickly, often three to four feet in a single growing season 6
They live 30 to 40 years but productivity declines after the 15th year 2
Single or multi trunked; smooth, thin, copper-colored bark that flakes off, showing the greenish layer beneath; young branchlets are quadrangular 3
Periodic pruning to improve the shape of the tree is recommended 6
Evergreen; large; opposite, oblong; serrated margins; prominent veins on the lower side; 3-7 in. (7.6–18 cm) in length 1
Showy, white; has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower); new growth arising from either lateral buds on older wood or at the ends of shoots 1
Round, ovoid, or pyriform; commonly yellow in color; flesh white to deep pink or salmon-red; numerous small, reniform, hard seeds; flavor sweet, musky 3
Harvested in Florida all year long; main seasons are August-October and February-March
USDA Nutrient Content pdf
Full sun to partial shade
Moist to dry soil
Generally tolerant of windy conditions
Aerosol/soil salt tolerance
Will take some salt spray, but are not recommended for highly exposed locations on seaside or Intracoastal areas 6
27-28 °F (-2.78-2.22 °C)
33 ft (10 m); 16 1/2 ft (5 m) apart is possible if the trees are "hedged" 2
Trees produced by cuttings and air-layering have shallow root systems
There are some deep roots but no distinct taproot 4
Invasive potential *
Guava has been assessed by the IFAS Invasive Plants Working Group as invasive and not recommended by IFAS for planting in south Florida; guava may be planted in central Florida but should be managed to prevent escape 1
Guava trees are attacked by a number of insect pests including the Caribbean fruit fly, guava whitefly, red-banded thrips, guava fruit moth, and scales 1
P. guajava has insecticidal properties 4
Guava Growing in the Florida Home Landscape from the University of Florida pdf 8 pages
Tropical Guava from the California Rare Fruit Growers Inc.
Guava from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates
The guava from W. Popenoe's book Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
The guava originated in the American tropics, probably in Central America. It was widely distributed prior to the arrival of the Europeans. 5
The common guava is easy to grow and tolerates adverse conditions. The tree is attractive and the patchy bark lends visual interest. It bears prolific quantities of fruit. The aromatic fruit is well regarded thhroughout the American tropics and beyond. Unfortunately, the guava is a primary host of the Caribbean fruit fly. In addition, it is classified as an invasive exotic. When making planting decisions, the gardener should weigh these two drawbacks against the guava's many attibutes. 5
Fig. 31. Psidium guajava (habit). Location: Maui, Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula
Fig. 32. Guava tree at Mounts Botanical Garden Florida
Fig. 33. Common guava seedling, 14 months
Fig. 34. Psidium guajava (Guava). Trunk and bark at Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 35. Psidium guajava, seeds wet
Fig. 36. Psidium guajava, seeds dry
Leaves opposite, simple; stipules absent, petiole short, 3-10 mm long; blade oblong to elliptic, 5-15 x 4-6 cm, apex obtuse to bluntly acuminate, base rounded to subcuneate, margins entire, somewhat thick and leathery, dull grey to yellow-green above, slightly downy below, veins prominent, gland dotted. 4
Fig. 7. Psidium guajava (Guava). Leaves habit. KiHana Nursery Kihei, Maui, Hawaii.
Fig. 8. Leafbud of common guava (Psidium guajava). Taken at Burdwan, West Bengal, India.
White, about 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter, borne singly or in small groups (cymes) in axils of leaves of recent growth. 1
Flowers are produced on branchlets of recent growth, and are an inch broad, white, solitary, or several together upon a slender peduncle. The calyx splits into irregular segments; the four petals are oval, delicate in texture. In the center of the flower is a brush-like cluster of long stamens. 3
One of the most critical botanical characteristics of guava is that flowers are borne on newly emerging lateral shoots, irrespective of the time of year. 4
Fig. 11. Psidium guajava or Bayabas in Barangay San Francisco (flower buds)
Fig. 12. Flor de Goiabeira. GOIABA - Guava. (Psidium guajava) Ceret São Paulo. Brazil and Central America native tree
Fig. 14. Myrtaceae - Guava (Psidium guajava)
Fig. 15. Psidium guajana flower and flower buds
Fig. 16. Psidium guajana flower habit
A berry with few to many small brown seeds. Fruit shape ranges from round, ovoid to pear-shaped. Fruit weight ranges from 1 ounce to 48 ounces (28 g - 1.4 kg). The peel color ranges from green to yellow and flesh color may be white, yellow, pink or red. Fruit peel thickness may be thin or thick and depends upon cultivar. There is a wide range in flavor and aroma, ranging from sweet to highly acid and strong and penetrating aroma to mild and pleasant. 1
When immature and until a very short time before ripening, the fruit is green, hard, gummy within and very astringent.
Fruits are borne by new shoots from mature wood. If trees bear too heavily, the branches may break. Therefore, thinning is recommended and results in larger fruits. The fruit matures 90 to 150 days after flowering. 2
The white fleshed varieties tend to be slightly more acid than the pink or dark colored varieties. 6
Fig. 20. A baby guava, in its budding stage
Fig. 21. Psidium guajava, immature fruit
Fig. 22. Psidium guajava (Guava). Indonesian white fruit. Pali o Waipio, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 23. Psidium guajava, mature fruit
Fig. 24. Psidium guajava (local:Jambu batu) from Indonesia
Fig. 25. 'Vietnamese' Pink Guava
Fig. 26. 'Vietnamese Giant' Guava (Psidium guajava/Myrtaceae) tree at the Kampong, Coconut Grove, Florida. Fruits on the tree and on the ground were all infested with Fruit Flies.
Because the fruit must be bagged to protect it from the Caribbean fruit fly, preference should be given to large-fruited cultivars: 'Thai Giant', 'White Indian', 'Hong Kong Pink', 'White Indonesian', 'Lucknow 49', 'Red Indian', 'Detwiler', 'Ruby x Supreme', 'Peruvian White ' and 'Supreme'. 5
Guava trees generally begin fruit production 3 to 4 years after planting and yields range from 50 to 80 lbs (23-36 kg) or more per tree per year. In Florida, guava may produce two crops per year; the main crop during summer followed by another smaller crop during early spring. However, through simple pruning techniques fruit may be produced nearly year-round. 1
Self-pollination is possible but cross-pollination by insects results in higher yields. 1
The chief pollinator of guavas is the honeybee (Apis mellifera). The amount of cross-pollination ranges from 25.7 to 41.3%. 2
The pollen is viable for up to 42 hours and the stigmas are receptive for about 2 days. 4
Guava seeds remain viable for many months. They often germinate in 2 to 3 weeks but may take as long as 8 weeks. Pretreatment with sulfuric acid, or boiling for 5 minutes, or soaking for 2 weeks, will hasten germination. Seedlings are transplanted when 2 to 30 in (5-75 cm) high and set out in the field when 1 or 2 years old. Inasmuch as guava trees cannot be depended upon to come true from seed, vegetative propagation is widely practiced. 2
Veneer and cleft grafting and chip budding are more successful on young vigorous seedling rootstocks. Scion material should be from terminal stem growth which is still green and quadrangular. 1
Seedlings may flower within 2 years; clonally propagated trees often begin to bear during the first year after planting. Trees reach full bearing after 5- 8 years, depending on growing conditions and spacing. 4
In general, guava trees should be planted in full sun for best growth and fruit production. Select a part of the landscape away from other trees, buildings and structures, and power lines. Remember guava trees can grow to 20 ft (6.1 m) in height if not pruned to contain their size. Select the warmest area of the landscape that does not flood (or remain wet) after typical summer rainfall events. 1
Guava Growth Progression from Pruning to Harvest from Ian Maguire's Tropical Fruit Photography Archive
Trees will be injured by cold weather and will freeze at about 28 degrees F but will come back from the lower portions once the damaged areas are pruned out. 6
Light pruning is always recommended to develop a strong framework, and suckers should also be eliminated around the base. 2
Trees that are bearing fruit may be kept small (3 to 6 ft high) through continuous selective pruning and tipping or allowed to grow into slightly larger trees (6 to 12 ft). 1
Off-season fruit production
Pruning may be used to induce off-season flowering and fruit production. Guava trees flower on new succulent, vigorous new growth arising from either lateral buds on older wood or at the ends of shoots. A period of 2–3 weeks without watering and then pruning will force new vegetative growth and flowering. Many times withholding water is not necessary. 1
In Florida, young guava trees should be fertilized every 1 to 2 months during the first year.
Fertilizer mixtures containing 6 to 10% nitrogen, 6 to 10% available phosphoric acid, 6 to 10% potash, and 4 to 6% magnesium give satisfactory results with young trees. For bearing trees potash should be increased to 9 to 15% and available phosphoric acid reduced to 2 to 4%. Examples of commonly available fertilizer mixes include 6-6-6-2 [6 (N)-6 (P2O5)-6 (K2O)-2 (Mg)] and 8-3-9-2 [8 (N)-3 (P2O5)-6 (K2O)-3 (Mg)]. 1
From spring though summer, trees should receive 3 to 4 annual nutritional sprays of copper, zinc, manganese, and boron. 1
Once guava trees are 2 or more years old irrigation will be beneficial to plant growth and crop yields during prolonged dry periods. The period from bloom and through fruit development is important and drought stress should be avoided at this time with periodic watering. 1
Problems of guava include insects such as caterpillars that attack foliage, scale insects, and the caribbean fruit fly which attacks maturing fruit. 6
Some nutritional problems, particularly a lack of minor elements, often occur on highly alkaline soils and trees benefit from periodic applications of nutritional sprays. 6
Fig. 37. Potassium deficiency: guava
Fig. 38. Guava: Rat feeding injury
Fig. 39. Guava: Bird feeding injury to fruit
Fig. 40. Guava (Psidium guajava): Bird feeding injury to fruit
Raw guavas are eaten out-of-hand, but are preferred seeded and served sliced as dessert or in salads. More commonly, the fruit is cooked and cooking eliminates the strong odor. Bars of thick, rich guava paste and guava cheese are staple sweets, and guava jelly is almost universally marketed. It is made into sirup for use on waffles, ice cream, puddings and in milkshakes. Guava juice and nectar are among the numerous popular canned or bottled fruit beverages of the Caribbean area. There are innumerable recipes for utilizing guavas in pies, cakes, puddings, sauce, ice cream, jam, butter, marmalade, chutney, relish, catsup, and other products. 2
Fig. 41. Psidium guajava (juice from Hawaiian Airlines flight)
Fig. 42. Guava macarons, Mililani, Hawaii, United States
Fig. 43. Rollo de guayaba
Fig. 44. Thumb Print Guava Cookies
Fig. 45. Beverage factory "Casa Garay", city and province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba. Guayabita literally means 'little guava').
South Florida Tropicals: Guava from the University of Florida pdf
Medicinal Uses **
The roots, bark, leaves and immature fruits, because of their astringency, are commonly employed to halt gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dysentery, throughout the tropics. Crushed leaves are applied on wounds, ulcers and rheumatic places, and leaves are chewed to relieve toothache. The leaf decoction is taken as a remedy for coughs, throat and chest ailments, gargled to relieve oral ulcers and inflamed gums; and also taken as an emmenagogue and vermifuge, and treatment for leucorrhea. It has been effective in halting vomiting and diarrhea in cholera patients. It is also applied on skin diseases. A decoction of the new shoots is taken as a febrifuge. The leaf infusion is prescribed in India in cerebral ailments, nephritis and cachexia. An extract is given in epilepsy and chorea and a tincture is rubbed on the spine of children in convulsions. A combined decoction of leaves and bark is given to expel the placenta after childbirth. 2
The leaves and bark are rich in tannin (10% in the leaves on a dry weight basis, 11-30% in the bark). The bark is used in Central America for tanning hides. Malayans use the leaves with other plant materials to make a black dye for silk. In southeast Asia, the leaves are employed to give a black color to cotton; and in Indonesia, they serve to dye matting. 2
From the Greek psidion (pomegranate), due to a fancied resemblance between the two
Psidium guajava L. from the World Agroforestry Database
Guava, Psidium guajava from Fruitipedia, Encyclopedia of the Edible Fruits of the World
Video from the Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida ext. link
Video on How to Prune a Guava Tree from the Papaya Tree Nursery ext. link
Guava from the Tropical Fruit News, Miami Rare Fruit Council
Guava Botanical Art
List of Growers and Vendors
1 Crane, Jonathan H. and Balerdi, Carlos F. "Guava growing in the Florida Home Landscape". edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is HS 4, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date Oct. 1979. Revised 1998, Oct. 2005 and Nov. 2016. Reviewed Nov. 2009 and July 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.
Morton, J. "Guava". hort.purdue.edu. Fruits of warm climates. p. 356-363. 1987. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.
Fig. 1 Guava
fruit bought and photographed in Taiwan. 2004. commons.wikimedia.org.
Under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2. Web. 8 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 3,10,21,23,35,36 Paton, Steve. Psidium guajava. N.d. Environmental Sciences Program, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. stri.si.edu. Web. 2 Feb. 2017.
Fig. 13,18 Smith, C.W. Psidium guajava L.. N.d. University of Hawaii, Botany Department, Manoa Campus Plants. botany.hawaii.edu. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.
Fig. 15 Robitaille, Liette. "Flower and fruit bud, Guava Series." 2014. growables.org. File JPG
Fig. 20 Fqamar. A baby guava, in its budding stage. 2008. commons.wikimedia.org. Public Domain. Web. 2 Feb. 2017.
Fig. 24 Ghosh, Asit K. Thaumaturgist. 'Vietnamese Giant' Guava (Psidium guajava/Myrtaceae) tree at the Kampong, Coconut Grove, Florida. Fruits on the tree and on the ground were all infested with Fruit Flies. 2009. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 4.0). Web. 2 Feb. 2017.
Fig. 29 Conrado, Denis A. C. Tronco da árvore de Psidium guajava. 2007. commons.wikimedia.org. Livre com atribuição. Web. 8 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 30 Hurst, Steve. Psidium guajava L. - Seeds. N.d. USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. plants.usda.gov. Web. 13 Dec. 2014.
Fig. 32 Robitaille, Liette. "Guava tree at Mounts Botanical Garden Florida, Guava Series.". 2014. growables.org. File JPG
Nelson, Scot. Guava (Psidium guajava): Bird feeding injury to fruit. 2016. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 31 Jan. 2017.
Okrany. Rollo de guayaba. 2008. commons.wikimedia.org. Public Domain. Web. 2 Feb. 2017.
Fig. 48 Guava, the juicy, pink, sliced fruit in the center, is high in antioxidants. 2007. USDA Agricultural Research Service. commons.wikimedia.org. Public Domain. Web. 13 Dec. 2014.
Fig. 49 Savage, McKay. Many vendors were insistent we take photos of them, obviously proud of their meticulously stack tables of fruits and vegetables. India, Koyambedu Market. 2009. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 2 Feb. 2017.
Sissssou. Fruit vendor selling guavas at Laad Bazar near Charminar, Hyderabad. 2009. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-SA 2.0). Web. 2 Feb. 2017.
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.
Published 13 Dec. 2014 LR. Last update 13 Feb. 2017 LR