Non-Native to Florida
Download a page (PDF 158 KB) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Pub SP 257. 2008.
For control information, see Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida (SP 242)
Date of introduction to Florida: pre-1765 (agriculture)
(from Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.)
Psidium guajava is frequently found growing in the hammocks and disturbed sites of the central and southern peninsula of Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). Common guava is native to Asia and Australia but escaped cultivation. It blooms all year.
Appearance: Evergreen shrub or small tree to 9 m (30 ft) tall, with scaly greenish-brown bark and young branches 4-angled, pubescent.
Leaves: Opposite, simple, short-stalked, entire, oval to oblong-elliptic, to 15 cm (6 in) long; pubescent below, with veins impressed above and conspicuously raised below.
Flowers: White, fragrant, to 4 cm (1.6 in) wide; borne singly or a few together at leaf axils; many stamens.
Fruit: An oval or pear-shaped berry, 3–10 cm (1–4 in) long, yellow at maturity; with yellow or dark pink flesh some-what dull in taste; seeds numerous.
Ecological threat: Forms thickets and has a serious impact in native forests and open woodlands. Along with the strawberry guava and the Surinam cherry, also serves as a major host for the naturalized Caribbean fruit fly, which occasionally spreads to commercial citrus crops. FLEPPC Category I
Distribution: C, SW, SE
Field Notations PSIDGUAJ/PSGU
Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.
View more information and pictures about common guava, as contained in the Langeland/Burks book, Identification & Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas.
See the UF/IFAS Assessment, which lists plants according to their invasive status in Florida.