The Info List - Guava

Guavas (singular guava /ˈɡwɑːvə/)[1] are common tropical fruits cultivated and enjoyed in many tropical and subtropical regions. Psidium guajava
Psidium guajava
(common guava, lemon guava) is a small tree in the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae), native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Although related species may also be called guavas, they belong to other species or genera, such as the "pineapple guava" Acca sellowiana. In 2011, India
was the largest producer of guavas.


1 Types 2 Etymology and regional names 3 Origin and distribution 4 Ecology 5 Fruit 6 Production 7 Culinary
uses 8 Constituents

8.1 Nutrients 8.2 Phytochemicals 8.3 Guava
seed oil

9 Folk medicine 10 References 11 External links


Apple guava (Psidium guajava) flower

The most frequently eaten species, and the one often simply referred to as "the guava", is the apple guava (Psidium guajava).[citation needed] Guavas are typical Myrtoideae, with tough dark leaves that are opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate and 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens. The fruits are many-seeded berries.[2] The genera Accara and Acca (formerly Feijoa, pineapple guava) were formerly included in Psidium.[citation needed] Etymology and regional names[edit]

Yellow-fruited cherry guava, (sometimes called lemon guava) Psidium littorale var. littorale

Strawberry guava, Psidium littorale
Psidium littorale
var. cattleianum

The term "guava" appears to derive from Arawak guayabo "guava tree", via the Spanish guayaba. It has been adapted in many European and Asian languages, having a similar form.[3] Another term for guavas is peru, derived from pear. It is common in countries bordering the western Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
and probably derives from Spanish or Portuguese. In parts of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
and Middle-East, guava is called amrood, possibly a variant of armoot meaning "pear" in the Arabic and Turkish languages. It is known as the payara in Bangladesh.[4] It is known as bayabas in the Philippines.[5] Origin and distribution[edit] Guavas originated from an area thought to extend from Mexico
or Central America
Central America
and were distributed throughout tropical America and Caribbean region.[3][6] They were adopted as a crop in subtropical and tropical Asia, the southern United States
United States
(from Tennessee and North Carolina south, as well as the west and Hawaii), tropical Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.[6] Guavas are now cultivated in many tropical and subtropical countries.[3][6] Several species are grown commercially; apple guava and its cultivars are those most commonly traded internationally.[3] Guavas also grow in southwestern Europe, specifically the Costa del Sol
Costa del Sol
on Málaga, (Spain) and Greece where guavas have been commercially grown since the middle of the 20th century and they proliferate as cultivars.[6] Mature trees of most species are fairly cold-hardy and can survive temperatures slightly colder than 25 °F (−4 °C) for short periods of time, but younger plants will likely freeze to the ground.[7] Guavas were introduced to Florida
in the 19th century[3] and are now grown in Florida
as far north as Sarasota, Chipley, Waldo and Fort Pierce. However, they are a primary host of the Caribbean fruit fly and must be protected against infestation in areas of Florida
where this pest is present.[8] Guavas are of interest to home growers in subtropical areas as one of the few tropical fruits that can grow to fruiting size in pots indoors. When grown from seed, guavas bear fruit as soon as two years and as long as 40 years.[3] Ecology[edit]

Apple Guava
plant leaf

Psidium species are used as food plants by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, mainly moths like the Ello Sphinx (Erinnyis ello), Eupseudosoma aberrans, E. involutum, and Hypercompe icasia. Mites, like Pronematus pruni and Tydeus munsteri, are known to be crop pests of the apple guava (P. guajava) and perhaps other species.[3] The bacterium Erwinia psidii causes rot diseases of the apple guava. Although the fruit is cultivated and favored by humans, many animals and birds consume it, readily dispersing the seeds in their droppings and, in Hawaii, strawberry guava (P. littorale) has become an aggressive invasive species threatening extinction to more than 100 other plant species.[9][10] By contrast, several guava species have become rare due to habitat destruction and at least one (Jamaican guava, P. dumetorum), is already extinct. Guava
wood is used for meat smoking in Hawaii
and is used at barbecue competitions across the United States. In Cuba
and Mexico, the leaves are used in barbecues. Fruit[edit] Guava
fruits, usually 4 to 12 centimetres (1.6 to 4.7 in) long, are round or oval depending on the species.[3] They have a pronounced and typical fragrance, similar to lemon rind but less sharp. The outer skin may be rough, often with a bitter taste, or soft and sweet. Varying between species, the skin can be any thickness, is usually green before maturity, but becomes yellow, maroon, or green when ripe. The pulp inside may be sweet or sour and off-white ("white" guavas) to deep pink ("red" guavas). The seeds in the central pulp vary in number and hardness, depending on species.

production – 2011

Country millions of tonnes

















Source: WorldAtlas[11]

Production[edit] Official world production data for guava are not available. In 2011, one source reported that India
was the world production leader with 17.6 million tonnes, an amount not exceeded by the accumulative total of the next seven largest guava producers (table).[11] Culinary

'Thai maroon' guava, a red apple guava cultivar

In Mexico, the guava agua fresca beverage is popular. The entire fruit is a key ingredient in punch, and the juice is often used in culinary sauces (hot or cold), as well as artisan candies, dried snacks, fruit bars, desserts, or dipped in chamoy. Pulque
de guava is a popular blend of the native alcoholic beverage. In many countries, guava is eaten raw, typically cut into quarters or eaten like an apple, whereas in other countries it is eaten with a pinch of salt and pepper, cayenne powder or a mix of spices (masala). It is known as the winter national fruit of Pakistan. In the Philippines, ripe guava is used in cooking sinigang. Guava
is a popular snack in Taiwan, sold on many street corners and night markets during hot weather, accompanied by packets of dried plum powder mixed with sugar and salt for dipping. In east Asia, guava is commonly eaten with sweet and sour dried plum powder mixtures. Guava
juice is popular in many countries. The fruit is also often prepared in fruit salads. Because of its high level of pectin, guavas are extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, and marmalades (such as Brazilian goiabada and Colombian and Venezuelan bocadillo), and also for juices and aguas frescas or may be used in a marmalade jam on toast.[3] Red guavas can be used as the base of salted products such as sauces, substituting for tomatoes, especially to minimize acidity. A drink may be made from an infusion of guava fruits and leaves, which in Brazil is called chá-de-goiabeira, i.e., "tea" of guava tree leaves, considered medicinal. Constituents[edit] Nutrients[edit] Guavas are rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C, with moderate levels of folic acid. Having a generally broad, low-calorie profile of essential nutrients, a single common guava (P. guajava) fruit contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.[12] However, nutrient content varies across guava cultivars. Although the strawberry guava (P. littorale var. cattleianum) has only 25% of the amount found in more common varieties, its total vitamin C content in one serving (90 mg) still provides 100% of the Dietary Reference Intake.[13] Phytochemicals[edit] Guava
leaves contain both carotenoids and polyphenols like (+)-gallocatechin
and leucocyanidin.[14] As some of these phytochemicals produce the fruit skin and flesh color, guavas that are red-orange tend to have more polyphenol and carotenoid content than yellow-green ones. Guava
seed oil[edit]

seed oil

Possibly used for culinary or cosmetics products, guava seed oil is a source of beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, zinc and selenium.[citation needed] The composition of fatty acids in guava seed oil is presented in the following table,[citation needed] showing that the oil is particularly rich in linoleic acid.[15]

Lauric acid <1.5%

Myristic acid <1.0%

Palmitic acid 8-10%

Stearic acid 5-7%

Oleic acid 8-12%

Linoleic acid 65-75%

Saturated fats, total 14%

Unsaturated fats, total 86%

Folk medicine[edit] Since the 1950s, guavas – particularly the leaves – have been studied for their constituents, potential biological properties and history in folk medicine.[16] References[edit]

^ "Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 20 August 2012.  ^ Judd, WS; Campbell, CS; Kellogg, EA; Stevens, PF; Donoghue, MJ (2002). Plant systematics, a phylogenetic approach. Sinauer Associates, Inc. pp. 398–399. ISBN 0878934030.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Morton JF (1987). "Guava, in Fruits of Warm Climates, p 356-63". Center for New Crops & Plant Products, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Retrieved 24 April 2015.  ^ "Thai Guava
farming gets momentum". Dhaka Tribune. August 28, 2016.  ^ "Recommended Herbal Plants In The Philippines". Business Mirror. August 10, 2017.  ^ a b c d " Psidium guajava
Psidium guajava
(guava)". CABI: Invasive Species Compendium. 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.  ^ Sauls JW (December 1998). "Home fruit production – Guava". Texas A&M Horticulture Program. Retrieved 2012-04-17.  ^ Boning, Charles R. (2006). Florida's Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 99. ISBN 1-56164-372-6.  ^ Price J (14 June 2008). "Strawberry guava's hold has proven devastating". Honolulu Star Bulletin. Retrieved 7 December 2014.  ^ "Leveling the Playing Field in Hawai'i's Native Forests" (PDF). Conservation Council for Hawai‘i. 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2014.  ^ a b "Top Guava
Producing Countries In The World". WorldAtlas. 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2017.  ^ Nutritiondata.com. "Nutrition facts for common guava". Retrieved August 17, 2010.  ^ Nutritiondata.com. "Nutrition facts for strawberry guava". Retrieved August 17, 2010.  ^ Seshadri TR, Vasishta K (1965). "Polyphenols of the leaves of psidium guava—quercetin, guaijaverin, leucocyanidin and amritoside". Phytochemistry. 4 (6): 989–92. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)86281-0. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ Kobori CN, Jorge N (2005). "Characterization of some seed oils from fruits for utilization of industrial residues (in Spanish)" (PDF). Ciênc Agrotec. 29 (5): 108–14. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ de Boer HJ, Cotingting C (2014). "Medicinal plants for women's healthcare in southeast Asia: a meta-analysis of their traditional use, chemical constituents, and pharmacology". J Ethnopharmacol. 151 (2): 747–67. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.030. PMID 24269772. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on


Media related to Psidium at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Psidium at Wikispecies California Rare Fruit Growers: Tropical