Pineapple Guava - Acca (Feijoa) sellowiana

Feijoa sellowiana: Feijoa from the University of Florida pdf

Fact Sheet from the California Rare Fruit Growers

Feijoa sellowiana from

Feijoa from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates

The Feijoa (Feijoa Sellowiana, Berg) from W. Popenoe's book Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits




Fig. 1

Other Information

Common Names: English: pineapple-guava; German:Feijoa; Portuguese: goiaba-do-campo, goiabeira-serrana; Spanish: falso guayabo, guayaba brasilera, guayaba chilena; Swedish: feijoa 4

Synonyms: Feijoa sellowiana

Family: Myrtaceae

Origin: South America. Brazil: Brazil - Minas Gerais [s.], Parana, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo. Southern South America: Argentina - Misiones; Paraguay; Uruguay 4

USDA hardiness zones: 8a-10, grows well in Central and North Florida
Height: 10-15'
Spread: 10-15'
Plant habit: rounded, dense shrub; compact and erect or spreading
Growth rate: 24' per season
Longevity: less than 50 years
Trunk/bark/branches: bark light green or red brown; exfoliating or scaly
Leaf: evergree; stiff, shiny green above, light frayish-green underneath
Flower: thick white petals; scarlet stamens; edible; flowers in spring; has perfect flowers
Fruit: gray-green; oval; ripe fruit rarely found on bush, usually drops
Season: August to October
USDA Nutrient Content pdf
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Soil tolerances: sand; loam; slightly alkaline; acidic; well-drained; well-drained
PH preference: 5.5-7.0
Drought tolerance: high
Cold tolerance: hardy to 14F
Flood tolerance:
Aerosol salt tolerance: high
Roots: not a problem
Invasive potential: it is not considered a problem species and may be used in Florida
Pest/disease resistance: free of pests or diseases of major concern
Known hazards: none known


Pineapple guava illustration

Fig. 2


If gardening were an Olympic sport, pineapple guava might be a contender for best all-around shrub. This attractive evergreen can be grown throughout Florida and is a favorite for its attractive silvery foliage, unusual flowers, and edible fruits.
The feijoa is native to extreme southern Brazil, northern Argentina, western Paraguay and Uruguay where it is common wild in the mountains. 1

Pineapple guava is now known scientifically as Acca sellowiana, though some sources still refer to it as Feijoa sellowiana.
Pineapple guava was named a Florida Garden Select plant in 2009 by the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association. It can be grown anywhere in Florida and is especially suited for coastal area gardens because it tolerates salt spray. The plant is also commonly known as feijoa. It appears to be free of serious pests and diseases. 1

Description: Feijoa sellowiana , or Pineapple Guava, is a gray-green evergreen shrub or tree (depending on pruning) which produces small, tasty fruit in late summer and early fall. The plants can be pruned to form a hedge or a small tree and will withstand several degrees below freezing. It is native to South America. The plant is not used nor is it commonly available in the eastern U.S. 3


New growth New growth Buds forming
Fig. 3 Fig. 4  Fig. 5


Leaf: The evergreen, egg-shaped leaves are 2 to 3 inches long and have silvery, slightly fuzzy undersides that often give the entire plant a slight bluish cast. 1


Buds FlowerCredit: © Karen Jackson, FlowersCredit: © Karen Jackson,
Fig. 6 Fig. 7   Fig. 8 

Flowers: The flowers appear from April through May and are 1 to 2 inches across. The fleshy petals are white or a soft pink and the stamens are a striking burgundy. An extra perk is that the flowers are edible and can be added to salads and other dishes. 1


Pineapple guava fruit Pineapple guava fruitCredit: © Karen Jackson, Pineapple guava
Fig. 9   Fig. 10 Fig. 11 


Fruit: The fruit, maturing in autumn, is green, ellipsoid, and about the size of a chicken egg. It has a sweet, aromatic flavor, which tastes like pineapple, apple and mint. The flesh is juicy and is divided into a clear, gelatinous seed pulp and a firmer, slightly granular, opaque

flesh nearer the skin. The fruit falls to the ground when ripe and at its fullest flavor, but it may be picked from the tree prior to falling to prevent bruising.

The fruit pulp resembles the closely related guava, having a gritty texture. The feijoa pulp is used in some natural cosmetic products as an exfoliant. Feijoa fruit has a distinctive, potent smell that resembles that of a fine perfume. The aroma is due to the ester methyl benzoate and related compounds that exist in the fruit. 2

Fruits ripen in 5-7 months. Between August and October, the egg-shaped fruits begin to mature and ripen, starting out gray-green and then turning a reddish-brown. They fall off the plant when they’re ready to eat, though they can be picked earlier and left to ripen on a kitchen counter. The fruit emits a strong long-lasting perfume, even before it is fully ripe. The thick, white, granular, watery flesh and the translucent central pulp enclosing the seeds are sweet or sub-acid, suggesting a combination of pineapple and guava or pineapple and strawberry, often with overtones of winter green or spearmint. Eat them fresh by cutting them in half and scooping out the pulp, or turn them into a delicious jelly. 1

To be appreciated, this fruit must be eaten at the proper degree of ripeness. M. Viviand-Morel says, "Everyone knows that the finest pears are only turnips if eaten a trifle too soon or a trifle too late." The observation is applicable also to the feijoa. 5


Multitrunk Acca sellowiana Guava trained as an espalierCredit: © Karen Jackson, BarkCredit: M. Ritter, W. Mark and J. Reimer,
Fig. 12  Fig. 13  Fig. 14  Fig. 15  


It can be trained as a tree, a hedge or an espalier. The silver green foliage makes it a great scrub, small tree or topiary. It can be used as a focal point in the landscape or as a privacy screen.

Culture: Although pineapple guavas are moderately drought tolerant, they need regular watering to produce high-quality fruit. Depending on your climate and soil type, give established trees a deep soaking every week or two during summer. Water young trees oftener and make sure you soak the rootball thoroughly. Fertilize trees once or twice during the growing season.

Most varieties are grafted onto a rootstock, which tends to sucker. Regularly rub off suckers below the graft union.

Pruning: Pineapple guava can easily be pruned to form a dense hedge or trained into a small tree with a single trunk. Left unpruned, it can reach up to 15 feet tall and 15 feet wide. For added interest, try training it as an espalier (Fig. 14).

To train trees, prune right after harvest. Since the wood is brittle, keep branches with wide crotch angles and prune off ones with narrow angles. You can also trim plants during the growing season, but avoid shearing off flowers and developing fruit. 1

Propagation: Gardeners who want to enjoy fruit may wish to purchase one of the named self-fruiting varieties like ‘Coolidge’ that have shown to perform well in Florida. Pineapple guava can be grown from seed, but seedlings are slow growing and may not produce high quality fruit.

Also note that fruit set may be low in extreme southern Florida, since the plants fruit better when they’re exposed to cold temperatures for a certain period of time each winter. Extreme heat in summer may also cause them to drop fruit prematurely. 1

 Plant at least three varieties for proper cross pollination.

It is a warm-temperate to subtropical plant that also will grow in the tropics, but requires at least 50 hours of winter chilling to fruit, and is frost-tolerant. When grown from seed, feijoas are noted for extremely slow growth during their first year or two, and young plants, though cold tolerant, can be very sensitive to high wind. 2

The feijoa requires little care beyond good soil preparation before planting. Subsequent cultivation is inadvisable because of the plant's shallow, fibrous root system which should be left undisturbed. If planted for its fruit, fertilizer should be low in nitrogen to avoid excessive vegetative growth. It should be watered liberally during hot, dry spells. 1


Further Reading

Pinapple Botanical Art

Hand Pollinating Video

Florida Crop/Pest Management Profile: Guava and Wax Jambu from the University of Florida pdf 5 pages

The New Zealand Feijoa Growers Association ext link.

Feijoa Australia ext link.


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List of Growers & Vendors



1 "Pineapple Guava." UF/IFAS, Gardening Solutions. N.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2014.

2 "Acca sellowiana." Web. 6 Dec. 2014.

3 Gilman, Edward, F. and Watson, Dennis G. "Feijoa sellowiana: Feijoa." This document is ENH408, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Publication date Nov. 1993. Reviewed Feb. 2014.

4 "Acca sellowiana." USDA Germplasm Resouces Information Network. Web. 5 Apr. 2015.

5 Popenoe, Wilson. "The Feijoa."  Manual of Tropical and Subtropical fruits. 1920. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.


Fig. 1 HortReseach. Feijoa. 2006. Web. 6 Dec. 2014.

Fig. 2 O'Brien, Robert. Pineapple guava, Feijoa sellowiana. N.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

Fig. 3, 12,15 Fitter, M., Mark, W. and Reimer, J. SelecTree. Feijoa sellowiana Photo Record. 1995-2015. Web. 5 Apr. 2015.

Fig. 4,5,6,7,8,10,14 Jackson, Karen. "Pineapple guava Series." 2014. File JPG

Fig. 11 Descouens, Didier. Pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana syn : feijoa sellowiana, Myrtaceae) fruits. 2013. Fronton, Haute -Garonne Web. 6 Dec. 2014.

Fig.9 Feijoa sellowiana. Web. 7 Dec. 2014.

Fig. 13 Yelod. Acca sellowiana. 2008. Web. 5 Apr. 2015.

Published 18 Jan. 2014 LR. Last update to 25 Apr. 2017 LR

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