Feijoa sellowiana, commonly known as feijoa or pineapple guava, is a small evergreen tree or shrub that is native to South America, particularly Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. It is widely cultivated for its edible fruit, which has a sweet, aromatic flavor reminiscent of pineapple, guava, and strawberry.
Here are some key facts about Feijoa sellowiana:
- Appearance: Feijoa sellowiana grows to a height of about 3-5 meters (10-16 feet) and has grayish-brown bark. The leaves are oval-shaped, thick, and leathery, with a silvery underside. The flowers are large, showy, and white with crimson accents, and bloom in spring or early summer. The fruit is green and egg-shaped, with a gritty, edible pulp inside.
- Culinary uses: The fruit of Feijoa sellowiana is commonly eaten fresh, sliced in half and scooped out with a spoon. It can also be used to make juice, jams, jellies, and other sweet treats. The fruit is high in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Growing conditions: Feijoa sellowiana is a hardy and adaptable plant that can grow in a wide range of soils and climates. It prefers well-draining, slightly acidic soil and moderate moisture, and can tolerate drought and light frost. The plant is self-fertile, but yields can be improved with cross-pollination from other varieties.
- Medicinal uses: Feijoa sellowiana has a long history of use in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, fever, respiratory infections, and skin conditions.
- Other uses: Feijoa sellowiana has also been used for ornamental purposes, as it has attractive foliage and flowers. The plant is also used in landscaping as a hedge or screen, and as a windbreak.
Overall, Feijoa sellowiana is a versatile and valuable plant with a range of culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. Its unique flavor and hardiness make it a popular choice for home gardens and commercial production alike.