Monday, 9 July 2012

Pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana)

The pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana) is an evergreen shrub from the mytle (Myrtaceae) family. The flower, in particular, gives the impression of tropical islands and sun kissed beaches. Also known as feijoa, guava and pineapple, it is a native to South America.

This isn't the best photo in the world but we were having trouble getting a good shot due to the unrelenting wind and rain. Where is our summer?! The Pineapple Guava is flowering now in the British Isles, right this minute, so look out for those flowers. You can't miss them because they look like they are on sparkly disco-dancing steroids. We mainly grew this as edible screening but the flowers are so pretty we just don't want to eat them.

Growing Pineapple Guava

Growing from seed is an unreliable method of propagating this shrub. Seeds do not grow true to the parent plant and can vary in size and yield of fruit. Hardwood cuttings (just below a node) can be taken but don't always take. Mature plants like a well drained rich soil and do well in the cooler weather. However, always try to keep the soil moist and don't let them dry out.

This is a slow growing shrub which can tolerate partial shade, full sun and a bit of salty wind. Temperatures below -9°C or above 32°C affect it adversely and can prevent fruiting. This is definitely our experience. Various cultivars are available, some with larger fruit e.g. 'Mammoth'. The pineapple guava will grow to around 2 metres (spread) by 2 metres (height).

Raw Edible Parts

The stunning flowers and small green sweet fruit are edible raw. The outer white velvet-like petals, which taste very tropical, are the edible bits on the flowers. The rest isn't listed as edible but we have tried it, like you do, and it is tough and not so good! The flavour and texture of the fruit apparently varies. Our shrubs have not fruited and the photograph below is not our fruit so don't get too excited. If anyone does manage to get any fruit, it needs to be picked when ripe and eaten immediately as it doesn't keep. Cut it in half and scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon. It can also be used in smoothies, ice cream, jam or anywhere else where soft fruit is used. It apparently has a distinctive flavour akin to pineapple, strawberries, banana and/or guava.

Fruit of Pineapple Guava. Photo attribution: Hans B at nl.wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I tried to get Spitty (our dogs toy) from the tree and several fruit fell on the ground. I bit into one, despite it appearing green and unripe. I was very pleasantly surprised that it was not only edible, but darn tasty. I promptly looked up to see if it was edible, and came across your site. Cheers!
    Naked Dave