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Psidium littorale Cattley guava,   Myrthacea

Cattley guava, Psidium littorale


Cattley guava, Psidium littorale

Psidium littoraleCattley guava, Psidium littorale
Cattley guava, as named in honour of notable English horticulturist Sir William Cattley, or Peruvian guava (Psidium littorale; the old name P. cattleianum is still used very often) is a small tree (tt tall), bearing small red or yellow fruit, which are somewhat sour but sometimes eaten or made into jam. The red-fruited strawberry guava is Psidium littorale var. cattleianum. The yellow-fruited Psidium littorale var. littorale is known as lemon guava, and in Hawaii as waiawī. Native to Brazil and adjacent tropical South America, it is closely related to common guava (P. guajava), and like that species is a widespread, highly invasive species in tropical areas, especially Hawaiʻi. It tends to form dense, monotypic stands which prevent regrowth of native species, and is very difficult to eradicate. As an invasive species, it is sometimes erroneously called "Chinese guava".

The fruit can be eaten by cutting them in half and scooping out the pulp and seeds or by biting off a piece of the rind and sucking out the insides. Strawberry guavas taste like a passionfruit mixed with strawberry; lemon guavas have a more acidic and spicier flavor. The seeds are small and white in colour and can be roasted as a substitute for coffee. Its leaves may be brewed for tea. The skin is also edible and tastes a bit like rose petals but is best removed for a sweeter flavour.

Yellow guava, similar to the strawberry guava except fruits are often slightly larger (1-2"). Flesh is yellow, very fragrant, with the suggestion of a lemon-guava like flavor.

Description: Small bush or tree to 20-25ft, although often much smaller. The frilly white flowers are often borne a couple of times a year, concentrated during warmer months.

Hardiness: Lemon guava's are hardy to 22F when full grown.

Growing Environment: The lemon guava is very adaptable and can be grown outdoors throughout much of Florida and California. It will fruit in a container almost anywhere if protected from hard freezes. Trees grow well in full sun and with ample water, although short periods of drought will not harm the plant. Lots of water is needed during fruit development and for proper ripening to occur. See also: strawberry guava (Psidium cattlenium)

Propagation: Usually by seed, sometimes by cuttings. Cattley guava, Psidium littorale

Uses: Usually eaten fresh or used to flavor beverages, ice creams, and desserts.

Native Range: Native to coastal areas of Eastern Brazil. The strawberry guava is now a weed in many parts of the tropics where it has quickly adapted to a variety of climates. There are major infestations on Hawaii and many Caribbean islands. In tropical climates, the strawberry guava is most often found growing at higher elevations, where the mean temperature is much cooler.