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common guava, guava, guayaba, yellow guava

strawberry guava

Habit Shrubs or trees to 8 m; trunk light brown, reddish brown, or light grayish green, mostly smooth, with large, flaky scales; young twigs green, quadrangular, slightly to strongly winged, often sulcate, at least when dry, older twigs reddish brown to grayish green, smooth or scaly; young growth glabrate to densely appressed-pubescent, hairs whitish, yellowish, or silvery, to ca. 0.7 mm. Shrubs or trees to 8 m; trunk reddish brown, smooth to scaly; young twigs light reddish brown to light gray, flattened, becoming subterete, older twigs usually gray, remaining ± smooth; young growth glabrous or sparsely puberulent to strigose on some floral structures, hairs whitish, most less than 0.1 mm.
Leaves

petiole channeled, 2–5 × 1–2 mm, densely pubescent to glabrate;

blade drying yellowish green, grayish green, or reddish brown, elliptic, oblong, elliptic-oblanceolate, elliptic-obovate, or lanceolate, 4.5–14 × 2.4–7.5 cm, 1.6–3.8 times as long as wide, leathery to submembranous, midvein prominent abaxially, impressed adaxially, lateral veins 9–22 pairs, prominent, ascending (at ca. 45°), nearly straight, curving upward near margin and connecting with next lateral vein, smaller veins connecting laterals in ladderlike to reticulate pattern, base rounded to slightly cordate, apex acute, acuminate, or rounded, surfaces densely to sparsely appressed-pubescent abaxially, glabrate adaxially (except midvein puberulent).

petiole channeled, 2–14 × 1–2 mm, glabrous;

blade drying light or dark reddish brown or grayish green, nearly concolorous, obovate, oblanceolate, or elliptic, 5–10 × 2–5.8 cm, 1.5–2.6 times as long as wide, leathery (rubbery when fresh), midvein prominent abaxially, nearly flat to shallowly impressed adaxially, lateral veins 8–13 pairs, ascending, weak to obscure, alternating with weaker veins arising near margin and extending toward midvein, base usually attenuate to cuneate, rarely rounded, apex acute or acuminate to broadly rounded, surfaces glabrous.

Inflorescences

1- or 3-flowered, borne in leaf axils;

bracteoles linearto narrowly triangular, 2–5 mm, sparsely pubescent.

1-flowered, borne in leaf axils, from leafless nodes, or in axils of leaflike or reduced bracts;

bracteoles ovate, lanceolate, or oblong, 1–2 mm.

Peduncles

1–3.5 cm × 1–1.5 mm, terete.

Flowers

bud subfusiform to pyriform, 10–17 mm, sometimes strongly constricted near midpoint, apex usually conic;

hypanthium to summit of ovary obconic, ca. 1/2 as long as closed flower bud;

calyx closed, conicin bud, tearing irregularly as bud opens, persisting or falling in ca. 3 parts;

petals obovate to elliptic, 13–22 mm;

disc 4–6 mm across;

stamens 280–720,7–15 mm;

anthers 0.7–1 mm;

style 10–15 mm;

stigma ca. 0.5 mm wide;

ovary 3–6-locular;

ovules 90–180 per locule (multiseriate).

bud subpyriform, 6–13 mm, apex rounded;

calyx tube extended 3–7 mm beyond ovary summit, terminating in sinuate-edged terminal pore (rarely completely closed), tearing irregularly at anthesis, tears cutting through staminal ring;

hypanthium 3–5 mm (below calyx);

petals suborbiculate to elliptic, 3–6 mm;

disc within staminal ring ca. 4–6 mm across;

stamens 280–400, 3–8 mm;

anthers 0–1 mm;

style 4–8 mm;

stigma ca. 1 mm wide;

ovary 3- or 4-locular;

placenta reflexed;

ovules ca. 12–25 per locule.

Berries

aromatic, green or yellow, with pink or white flesh inside, globose or pyriform, 20–60(–80) mm.

red or yellow, pyriform to subglobose, 15–30 mm.

Seeds

usually 50+, subreniform,3–4 mm, ± smooth.

few–100, round to subreniform, ca. 5 mm, smooth.

Psidium guajava

Psidium cattleyanum

Phenology Flowering spring. Flowering spring.
Habitat Roadsides, pastures, riparian areas. Disturbed areas.
Elevation 0–100 m. (0–300 ft.) 0–15 m. (0–0 ft.)
Distribution
from FNA
FL; LA; South America [Introduced in North America; introduced also in tropics and subtropics worldwide]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
FL; South America (Brazil) [Introduced in North America; introduced also in Pacific Islands (Hawaii)]
Discussion

Psidium guajava is known in the flora area from the central and southern peninsula in Florida and Jefferson Parish in Louisiana.

Psidium guajava is commonly and widely cultivated for its edible fruit. It probably was originally cultivated in tropical South America. Archaeological evidence of guava cultivation has been reported for coastal Peru at about 4000 years ago (R. Shady-Solis et al. 2001) and even earlier in Rondônia, Brazil (J. Watling et al. 2018). In Central America and Mexico, the earliest archaeological find of P. guajava is about 2000 years old in the Tehuacán Valley of Mexico (C. E. Smith 1965). It reached the Caribbean Islands in pre-Columbian times (G. Fernández de Oviedo y Valdéz 1851). How much of the American distribution, which now extends from Mexico to Argentina, is due to the actions of humans is uncertain. In post-Columbian times it was rapidly spread to the tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Guava products are imported into the United States mainly from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Mexico, Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. The leaves and bark are commonly used medicinally as a tea to remedy diarrhea.

Psidium guineense Swartz, common in tropical and subtropical America, is a similar weedy species that is often confused with P. guajava. One specimen collected at Bradenton, Florida, in 1916 has been seen; it may be expected in the southeastern United States. Psidium guineense differs from P. guajava in having leaves with fewer lateral veins, usually erect, reddish brown (not appressed and whitish) hairs on the abaxial surfaces, anthers 1–3 mm, and a calyx that tears in usually five (not three) segments.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Psidium cattleyanum is known in the flora area from the central and southern peninsula and is commonly cultivated for its edible fruit.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 10. FNA vol. 10.
Parent taxa Myrtaceae > Psidium Myrtaceae > Psidium
Sibling taxa
P. cattleyanum
P. guajava
Synonyms P. littorale, P. variabile
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 1: 470. (1753) Sabine: Trans. Hort. Soc. London 4: [315–]317, plate 11. (1821)
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