Psidium guajava

common guava

Introduction

Origin: Tropical America1
Introduction to Florida: pre-1765 (agriculture)2

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.

View the herbarium specimen image from the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects.

 

Description

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.

Distribution

C, SW, SE

Field Notations PSIDGUAJ/PSGU

Text from Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know – Recognition Cards 2

Impacts

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